The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in Kolkata from January 8 to 10, 2005. It has issued the following statement.
TSUNAMI RELIEF WORK
The Central Committee got reports of the ongoing relief work in the Tsunami affected areas, particularly in the Andaman & Nicobar Island and Tamilnadu. The Party has set up a relief fund and money is being collected by Party units all over the country which will be utilised for relief and rehabilitation work by the Party in all the affected areas. The CPI(M) has already contributed Rs. 10 lakhs to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund and donated one month’s salary of its Members of Parliament to the fund.
The Central Committee decided to co-operate fully in the national effort for the relief work which was discussed in the all parties’ meeting convened by the Prime Minister. It also decided to organise its own relief and rehabilitation activities.
DRAFT POLITICAL RESOLUTION
The Central Committee discussed and adopted the Draft Political Resolution for the 18th Congress to be held in New Delhi in the first week of April. After the finalisation of the Draft Resolution, it will be released for discussion in the Party after January 15. The Draft Resolution takes stock of the national and international situation and sets out the direction for the Party for the coming period.
The Draft Political Resolution will be discussed by the Party at all levels and after receiving the amendments and suggestions from the Party members and units, the Draft will be placed before the Party Congress for adoption.
The Central Committee finalised the Party’s stand for the forthcoming assembly elections in Bihar, Jharkhand and Haryana. The Party will work for the defeat of the BJP and its allies in these three states. The Party is of the view that the secular parties should avoid division of votes which can be pooled for defeat of the BJP alliance. The CPI(M) will strive for an understanding with the Left parties, the RJD and other secular forces in Bihar and Jharkhand.
In Jharkhand the Party has decided to contest in 11 constituencies. In the first phase the 2 seats to be contested are Chatra (SC) and Bhavnathpur.
In Haryana the Party will be contesting five constituencies, the list of which will be announced after the Haryana State Secretariat meeting on 12th January.
In Bihar, the Party is discussing with RJD for a seat adjustment. It has shortlisted 14 seats to contest. In the first phase of polling on February 3rd, the Party will be contesting in 3 seats - Hisua, Buxar and Kahalgaon.
The Central Committee expressed its serious concern at the rise in the prices of certain essential commodities. In recent period the price of sugar has shot up and kerosene oil has become too expensive for the common people. The rate of inflation is worrying. The UPA govt. should take immediate steps to check the price rise and ensure that the public distribution system which is virtually dismantled by the previous regime is strengthened.
PATENT AMENDMENT ORDINANCE
The Central Committee strongly criticised the Central government’s decision to go in for an ordinance to amend the Patent Act. The government has acted in haste and provisions in the ordinance do not sufficiently protect domestic interests. The flexibilities in the TRIPS system have not been utilised. The result of doing away with some key provisions will lead to an increase in the price of medicines which will become unaffordable for the common people.
The Central Committee decided that the Party will seek to bring necessary changes in the legislation which has to be brought before Parliament.
The Central Committee expressed unhappiness at the manner in which the UPA govt. is pushing forward with measures which are in the interests of big business and foreign finance capital while delaying and refusing to take measures which concern the interests of the working class and the working people. Despite promising active consideration to restore the rate of interest of the Employees Provident Fund to 9.5% nothing has been done in this regard. At the same time the government is going ahead with the privatisation of Pension Funds of govt employees as seen in the setting up of the Pension Regulatory and Development Authority. In such matters the government resorts to the ordinance route which is inherently undemocratic. The government is also eager to facilitate the takeover of Indian private banks by foreign banks by allowing them to buy upto 74% of the shares.
ADOPT PRO-PEOPLE MEASURES
The Central Committee urged the Central Government to amend the Rural Employment Guarantee Bill to remove the dilution of some of its essential provisions so that it can be adopted in the next session of Parliament.
The Central Committee calls upon the UPA government to start implementing many of the assurances made in the Common Minimum Programme aimed at improving peoples’ welfare especially in the rural areas. Issues such as central legislation for agricultural labour, investments for rural infrastructure, credit etc. must be taken up in right earnest. Given the continued rural distress these issues must be urgently addressed.
The provision in the Common Minimum Programme for one third reservation for women in Parliament and state legislatures should be introduced in Parliament.
The Central Committee requested the Central govt. to adopt a central legislation which will enable the state governments to regulate admissions and fee structure in private professional educational institutions.
The Central Committee further wanted the UPA govt to ensure the protection of the right to strike by adopting suitable measures.