The Left Parties which met on July 4, 2006 have issued the following statement:
Movement Against Price Rise
The Left parties expressed their serious concern at the continuous price rise of all essential commodities which is adversely affecting the living standards of the people. The price rise is particularly harmful as it affects foodgrains and all other items of food consumption like pulses, edible oil, vegetables and sugar. The bungling in the food policy has led to the government having to import wheat on a large scale. The central government is also responsible for restricting and dismantling the public distribution system by its efforts to cut food subsidy and weakening the procurement system. It is regrettable that the UPA government has so far not taken any effective measures to check price rise. Many of the state governments too have allowed the public distribution system to be curtailed and not taken any serious measures to strengthen and expand the PDS.
All round price rise is affecting the poorer sections of the people badly and eroding their livelihood and meager wages. It is essential that the government take steps to curb price rise.
The Left parties have decided to conduct a week-long countrywide movement from 13 to 19 July 2006 as a week against price rise. The movement will demand the following:
1. The central government must with immediate effect end forward trading in foodgrains, pulses and other essential food items.
2. Both the central and state governments should take urgent measures to strengthen and expand the public distribution system.
3. Firm measures should be taken to check hoarding and profiteering in foodgrains and other essential commodities.
During the week, the Left parties will conduct demonstrations, dharnas, rallies and mobilise the people in support of these demands.
Disinvestment in Profitable PSUs
The Left parties reiterate their strong opposition to the decision of the government to disinvest shares in Nalco and the Neyveli Lignite Corporation. The Left parties extended their full support to the struggle launched by the employees of Nalco and the indefinite strike launched by the workers of the Neyveli Lignite Corporation. Many political parties have come out against the disinvestment in these two enterprises. The Left parties call upon all sections of the people and democratic organisations to extend support to the struggle against the disinvestment in profitable public sector units.
The Left parties appeal to the UPA partners to intervene and see that the government reconsiders its decision to disinvest in the profitable public sector units which goes against the CMP commitment.
The meeting was attended by Prakash Karat, A.B. Bardhan, Debabrata Biswas, Sitaram Yechury, D. Raja, Abani Roy and Devarajan.