The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in New Delhi on June 9-10, 2012. It has issued the following statement:
Grim Economic Situation
The Central Committee expressed concern at the economic slowdown facing the country. The GDP growth rate declined to 6.5 per cent in 2011-12 and there is a slowdown in industrial production. The trade deficit is widening in the backdrop of slowdown in exports. The Indian rupee has depreciated to over Rs. 55 per dollar. There is a sharp increase in the external debt. Even as the economic slowdown is occurring, the inflation rate continues to be high with food inflation touching 10.5 per cent. This is adding to the suffering of the people.
The ruling establishment and the corporate media are portraying this deterioration as a failure to push through neo-liberal reforms. This is a travesty of facts. On the contrary, like in the rest of the world, the worsening economic situation in India is a direct outcome of the pursuit of neo-liberal policies. The increasing income inequalities have made the growth process unsustainable; deregulation and concessions for speculative finance and the big corporates are affecting the stability of the financial sector.
The Central Committee strongly opposes the moves to push through more neo-liberal measures. The Central Committee condemns the move to open up the FDI in multi-brand retail. The Party, along with other Left and democratic forces, will conduct a widespread movement to block any such move. The Central Committee calls upon all the opposition parties in Parliament to oppose the legislations which seek to increase the FDI limit in banking and insurance sectors and the Pension Bill, which is meant to privatize pension funds.
The Central Committee noted that the total stock of foodgrains in central pool has reached 7.11 crore metric tonnes in May 2012. This is 5 crore metric tonnes in excess of the buffer stock norm. Much of these stocks are also rotting in the absence of adequate warehousing space. Yet the government refuses to offload these stocks of wheat and rice at cheap prices to the poor and malnourished. The government is more interested in exporting foodgrains, even by incentivizing private traders.
The Central Committee demands that the Union government release these food stocks at BPL prices through the PDS and under special schemes for the drought-affected areas and to the poor and destitute sections.
Petrol Price Hike
The Central Committee reiterated its opposition to the steep petrol price hike. The reduction of the price by Rs. 2 per litre is totally inadequate since the price is still higher by over Rs. 5.50 per litre. The Central Committee demands that a full rollback of the petrol price increase.
Coal Block Allocations
According to reports, the Comptroller and Auditor General has found the process of allocation of coal blocks to various companies, faulty. This has resulted in huge profits for the private parties and massive loss of revenue to the government. The Central Vigilance Commissioner has already referred the matter to the CBI for investigation. The response of the Prime Minister’s office to the allegations on the allocations is not credible.
The Central Committee demands a thorough investigation by the CBI into the matter and to fix the responsibility of those involved.
The Central Committee discussed the prevailing political situation in Kerala. After the killing of T. P. Chandrasekharan on May 4, there has been a concerted campaign blaming the CPI(M) for the murder. This campaign has been unleashed by the Central Minister of State for Home, the Chief Minister and the Congress leaders in Kerala. This propaganda was kept up in view of the Assembly bye-election in Neyyattinkara which was held on June 2.
The police investigation is sought to be influenced by the government and the ruling party. The police is trying to implicate leaders of the Party in Kozhikode and Kannur districts.
The Party has condemned the brutal killing and denied any involvement in the incident. The Party has strongly asserted that it does not believe in the elimination of political opponents. The Party leadership has also stated that on enquiry, if it is found that there is involvement of any Party member at any level, strong action will be taken. The Central Committee called upon the Party ranks to unitedly face this anti-Communist campaign and mobilise the people to rebuff the attempts to defame the Party.
The Central Committee congratulated the Himachal Pradesh state committee of the Party on the victory achieved in the Mayor and Deputy Mayor elections to the Shimla Municipal Corporation. The defeat of the Congress which was running the corporation and the BJP which is in state government shows that the people will vote for an effective alternative to the Congress and the BJP, if it is presented.
US Strategic Designs
The US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta visited Delhi in order to involve India in the United States strategic pivot to the Asia-Pacific region. In the words of Panetta, India should be a “lynchpin” in the US strategy in Asia. The UPA government should realize the dangers of involving itself in a strategic alliance with the United States and firmly turn down any such role in the American strategic designs in Asia.
The Central Committee called upon the UPA government not to fall in line with the US-NATO and the Gulf states on the developments in Syria. The Indian government should not become party to moves to stoke civil war conditions and destabilize Syria.
The Central Committee strongly criticized the UPA government’s steps to curtail oil purchases from Iran. This is being done under pressure from the United States and it goes against the vital interests of the country with regard to energy security.
Movement for Food Security
The Central Committee endorsed the call given by the Left parties for conducting the movement for food security and a universal PDS. The campaign will demand a universal public distribution system with no targeting of APL and BPL; 35 kilograms of foodgrains at not more than Rs. 2 per kg for every family per month. Throughout the month of July, the Left parties will mobilise and conduct struggles, from the block level onwards, on the issue of PDS and adequate supply of foodgrains. It will culminate in a continuous dharna during the monsoon session of Parliament in Delhi from July 30 to August 3, in which thousands of people will participate.
The Central Committee elected a six-member Secretariat consisting of Prakash Karat, Hari Singh Kang, Hannan Mollah, Nilotpal Basu, V. Srinivasa Rao and Jogendra Sharma.
Central Discipline Commission
The Central Committee elected a four-member Central Discipline Commission consisting of S. Ramachandran Pillai (Chairperson), Madan Ghosh, V. Srinivasa Rao and U. Vasuki.