CPI(M) today demanded an immediate cut in the prices of petroleum products, saying that the Narendra Modi government has failed to do so despite global crude oil prices falling to below USD 90 a barrel. There has been a sharp fall in the international prices of oil. At present, crude oil price has gone below USD 90 per barrel. Despite this, the Modi government has not reduced the prices of diesel at any stage.
The retail price of petrol also needs to be further reduced, the CPI(M) Politburo said as it demanded an immediate cut in petroleum prices. On the Prime Minister’s recent US visit, the party said that Washington had pressurised New Delhi to dilute the civil nuclear liability law as well as the patents law and the Intellectual Property Rights policy.
Maintaining that all these issues were reflected in the joint statement by Prime Minister Modi and President Obama, Congress demanded that the government should not resile from the existing patent law and IPR regime. No changes should be brought in without public discussion and debate in Parliament, the Politburo said in a statement upon the conclusion of its two-day meet here.
Attacking the NDA government for curtailing and restricting the provisions of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), it said such a move would limit the scheme to the selected districts and blocks and thus violate the Act itself which provides for universal coverage in the rural areas.
Also, the Centre’s move to change the ratio between material and wages under MGNREGA would bring down the wage component and reduce the availability of the scheme and open the way for contractors, CPI(M) said as it called for a nationwide movement and campaign against the government plan.
CPI(M) also opposed the renewal of the Indo-US Defence Framework Agreement for another 10 years, saying such a long- term defence collaboration agreement with the US is uncalled for and not in the interests of India’s strategic autonomy and independent foreign policy. Noting that the joint statement also provides for the setting up of Contact Groups to discuss liability issues in nuclear reactor sales, the party said the provisions of the civil nuclear liability law are in the interests of the safety and security of the people of India and should not be diluted in any way.
On the devastation caused by cyclone Hudhud, CPI(M) said the Centre must assist the affected states in every possible way to see to it that their communication systems and infrastructure is restored at the earliest. Meanwhile, in a separate statement, the CPI Central Secretariat, too, demanded that the cyclone be declared a national calamity and called for the Centre to provide all the necessary help, including essential items and assistance for the reconstruction of the houses of the poor, to the affected states.
CPI(M) also demanded that the recent floods in Jammu and Kashmir be declared a national calamity to allow a suitable relief and rehabilitation package to be announced for the state. It said that the compensation announced by the state government for destroyed and damaged houses was too inadequate.
The CPI(M) Politburo, which is gearing up to hold its party Congress next year, also finalised a draft Review Report on its political-tactical line, which would be placed for discussion in the next meeting of the Central Committee between Oct. 26-29.
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