The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in New Delhi from November 29-30, 2008. It has issued the following statement:
Mumbai Terror Attacks
The Polit Bureau had already adopted a statement on the horrific terrorist attack in Mumbai on November 29. The statement’s main conclusion is as follows:
“The lessons from this grim incident has to be drawn correctly and promptly. The continuous and widespread terrorist attacks which have occurred in the country have shown up the weakness in our intelligence and security systems. The country expects the Government to immediately take effective steps to revamp and strengthen the intelligence and security set up. A beginning has to be made by identifying and taking steps against the forces with external links who have perpetrated this crime.
“This is the time for all sections of the people and political circles to rise above any sectarian interests and ensure that the unity and integrity of the country is safeguarded by curbing all forms of terrorism whatever their source.”
After investigation, when the evidence of the links in Pakistan of the persons who committed this terrorist outrage is established, the government should take up the matter with the United Nations Security Council. As per the UN Security Council Resolution against terrorism (1373), all states have obligations to take steps against terrorist activities and to deny “safe havens to those who finance, plan, support, or commit terrorist acts”. The Security Council can decide on the measures to be adopted to identify and curb such terrorist activities.
Tackling the Impact of the Global Economic Crisis
The Polit Bureau discussed the impact of the global financial and economic crisis on India. There is an economic slowdown. The export-oriented sectors like garments, hosiery, carpets, handicrafts and financial-linked IT services have been hit. There is a fall in the prices of certain commercial crops. The slowdown is leading to loss of jobs in the form of retrenchments and layoffs, wage cuts and loss of livelihood for lakhs of people in the services and unorganised sectors.
The main concentration of the government has been to provide liquidity for the banks and the markets without paying attention to boosting demand in the economy by large-scale public expenditure. The UPA government is more concerned with protecting the interests of the big financial companies and the corporate sector.
The CPI(M) demands urgent steps to be taken to tackle the unfolding economic crisis. These should include:
· A special fiscal package to increase public expenditure in a manner which will increase income and consumption of the working people
· Expand fiscal deficit of Central and state governments. Scrap the FRBM Act
· Massive public investment in sectors which are employment intensive, expansion of NREGA
· Protection of jobs by announcement of moratorium on jobs and wage cuts in the organized sector
· Boosting of foodgrains production and public procurement
· Strengthening and expansion of the Public Distribution System and increase the allocation of rice and wheat to the states
· Scrapping the increase in petrol and diesel prices
· Adequate relief packages for export oriented sectors
· Credit for medium and small scale enterprises and tariff protection.
The Polit Bureau demands that the government halt moves for further financial sector liberalization. The government should not proceed with the legislations such as Banking Regulation Amendment Act, the Bill for increasing the FDI cap in Insurance and Pension Bill.
The Polit Bureau has directed its Party units to urgently take up the struggles to defend the livelihood, jobs and rights of the working people. The Party appealed to the trade union movement and other mass organisations to take up the immediate issues arising out of the impact of the economic crisis and to fight for steps to provide relief to the working people.
Reduce Petrol and Diesel Prices
With the international oil prices going below $ 50 a barrel, the Manmohan Singh government has no justification whatsoever not to reduce the prices of diesel and petrol which are increased by Rs. 5 per litre for petrol and Rs. 3 per litre for diesel in June 2008. The Polit Bureau endorsed the call of the Left parties, the JD (S) and the TDP to hold a `protest day’ on December 2 to demand the immediate reduction of petrol and diesel prices.
Maoist Violence Condemned
The Polit Bureau strongly condemned the continuing violent activities by the Maoists in West Bengal. After the attempt on the life of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya through a landmine blast, the Maoists are trying to create problems in Binpur block in West Midnapur district. The CPI(M) will firmly stand by the interests of the tribal people of the area while opposing the violent tactics of the Maoist groups.
The Central Committee had decided in its October meeting to approve the decision to have an electoral understanding with the Telugu Desam in Andhra Pradesh in the forthcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. The Polit Bureau welcomed the decision of the CPI to have an understanding with the Telugu Desam. With this, the CPI(M) and the CPI will jointly work for an understanding with the Telugu Desam.
The Polit Bureau discussed the electoral line to be adopted in Tamilnadu for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. The understanding of the PB will be conveyed to the Tamilnadu state committee, so that a decision can be taken.
Central Committee Meeting
The Polit Bureau decided to hold the next meeting of the Central Committee on January 8-10, 2009 at Kochi, Kerala.