The United Progressive Alliance Government’s anti-people and faulty economic policies are the main reason for the problems faced by the people even in getting their basic needs met, general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Prakash Karat said on Friday.
At a public meeting organised in Tiruppur (Tamilnadu) to mark the centenary year of the first general secretary of the party, P. Sundaraiah, Mr. Karat said illiteracy, unemployment and lack of healthcare, the battle against which remained on top of the agenda of the first general secretary, continued to haunt people even today. Exploitation of the suppressed classes continued in newer manifestations.
“First, the people should understand the economic policies and its adverse impact on them. Theyshould realise that the CPI (M) alone had policies that would help them overcome the hardships caused by the UPA and National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regimes. He urged the people to support the trade unions’ general strike on February 21 and 22 against the economic policies.
Taking on the UPA Government for its decision to allow Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail, Mr. Karat said this would wipe out employment opportunities in retail for four crore people. Referring to the representation of the hosiery industry on the 12.36 per cent Central Excise duty on knitwear, Mr. Karat said the NDA introduced the duty and CPI (M) made the UPA regime withdraw it in 2004. But, it has comeback. The CPI (M) would oppose this in the ensuing Budget session. Mr. Karat urged the Centre and the State Governments to exempt diesel from excise duty and sales tax to reduce the burden on the industries at least till the power situation improved in the State. Referring to the gang-rape of a girl in New Delhi, he sought the immediate passage of the bill to curb crimes against women.
CPIM Tamil Nadu State Unit Secretary G. Ramakrishnan, PB Member K Varadarajan, Central Committee Member U. Vasuki and others leaders spoke on the ocassion.