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Mainstream, VOL 61 No 3, January 7, 2023

PB Communiqué from Communist Party of India (Marxist) | New Delhi. December 28

Saturday 7 January 2023

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Communist Party of India (Marxist)

December 28, 2022

Press Communiqué

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in New Delhi on December 27-28. It has issued the following statement:

Economy:

The Polit Bureau expressed its concern at the deepening recessionary conditions in the Indian economy. Notwithstanding all propaganda and claims made by the government of economic recovery, investments in augmenting India’s productive capacities are not growing.

Industrial output contracted by a sharp 4 per cent in October, the second time in 3 months. The Year-on-Year data shows a significant 5.4 per cent drop in manufacturing output. The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) stood at 129.6 in October, lowest since September 2021. Production of consumer durables shrank by 15.3 per cent and consumer non-durables by 13.4 per cent. This is an indication of continued decline in peoples’ purchasing power capacities.

Growing Unemployment:

Joblessness rate continues to be elevated. Worse, this is accompanied by the fall in the Labour Participation Rate and employment rate. Unemployment rate rose to 8.8 per cent in December compared to 8 per cent in November. Urban unemployment galloped to 9.6 per cent while rural was 7.8 per cent.

Price Rise:

Inflation continues to soar. Food inflation continues to impose more miseries on people’s livelihoods.

Polit Bureau demands massive hikes in public investment in jobs-generating infrastructure areas, without which neither employment generation nor a growth in peoples purchasing power capacities can materialise.

Merger of PMGKAY with the Food Security Act: The ‘free’ ration under the 2013 Food Security Act for nearly 2/3rds of our people for the year 2023 is an admission that the spectre of hunger stalking the country cannot be overcome otherwise. This is the truth despite the vociferous denial by Modi government of the Global Hunger Index describing hunger in India as “very serious”.

While 5 kgs of food grains would be provided free to 81.35 crore people, they will now be denied 5kg of food grains at subsidised rate of Rs 3 / kg for rice, 2 / kg for wheat and Rs. 1 / kg for grains that was existing under the FSA. As a consequence, in order to make up for the 5 kgs of subsidised food grains, so essential to maintain nutritional levels, people will have to go to the open market where wheat is selling around Rs 30+ / kg and rice at Rs. 40 +/ kg. this would be a cruel blow to crores of house holds struggling to survive.

Polit Bureau demands that both the free 5 kg under PMGKAY and 5 kg at subsidised rates under the FSA should continue.

Sharpening Communal polarization:

Incendiary calls for violent criminal attacks against the Muslim minority by a ruling party MP is utterly condemnable. Strangely, the authorities instead of taking suo moto notice and registering criminal case have said that they will act only upon a ‘complaint’ against this speech. This is open patronisation and protection provided to people who spread such poisonous hatred, violence and terror.

There are growing reports of dangerously intensified hatred against the Muslim students in educational institutions. Instances of attacks on Christian minorities are also growing.

The scheme for scholarship and fellowships for Muslim students under the name of Maulana Azad National Fellowships (MANF) has been scrapped.

Government informed the Parliament that the decision was taken as MANF overlaps with various other scholarship schemes. This is blatantly incorrect. Muslims and other religious minorities are not considered OBCs in various states. This scholarship scheme, must be restored.

Judiciary:

The Modi government has intensified the efforts to push for a dominant say for the government in judicial appointments and transfers leading to a confrontation between the judiciary and executive, between the collegium system and the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) that was invalidated by the Supreme Court.

The CPI(M) strongly resists and opposes all efforts by the Modi government for Executive control over Judicial appointments. The independence of the Judiciary must be uncompromisingly upheld.

Release Bhima Koregaon detainees:

A senior police officer investigating caste violence at Bhima Koregaon on January 1, 2018 has admitted, under oath, that the Elgar Parishad event organised 30 kms away from Pune city had no role in the violence.

Given this, all UAPA detainees arrested in connection with this must immediately be released unconditionally.

Cooperative Bill: assault on Federalism:

The CPI(M) strongly opposes the Multi State Cooperative Societies Amendment Bill 2022 as an attack on federalism and the rights of the states. Cooperatives are a state subject.

This proposed bill is a blatant attempt to impose Central government decisions on cooperative societies that operate in accordance with state laws. This is nothing but a move to control the cooperative societies. This undermines the rights of the elected state governments and is an assault on federalism.

Tripura:

As the elections to the state assembly draw closer in Tripura the ruling BJP has intensified its violent attacks against the CPI(M) and other opposition forces.

The CPI(M), the Left parties and the Congress party have jointly demanded the restoration of democracy and the reestablishment of the rule of law that is being destroyed by the BJP government’s tyrannical rule.

The Election Commission must take proactive measures to prevent the assembly elections from being reduced as a farce. Democracy and democratic rights must be restored in Tripura fully, if there has to be a free and fair election.

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