The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in New Delhi on October 13 & 14, 2014. It has issued the following statement:
Jammu & Kashmir Floods
The floods in Jammu & Kashmir have created unprecedented devastation. Even five weeks after the disaster people in many areas have not received any relief. The compensation announced by the state government of Rs. 70,000 for a completely destroyed pucca house and Rs. 15,000 for partially damaged houses is too inadequate. It is essential that the J & K floods be declared a national calamity and the relief and rehabilitation package be decided accordingly. The CPI(M) decided to complete its fund collection for the relief and rehabilitation work. Rs. 50 lakhs have been raised so far.
The Polit Bureau called for effective relief and rehabilitation measures for all those affected by the Hudhud cyclone which has struck three districts of Andhra Pradesh – Vishakhapatnam, Vijayanagaram and Srikakulam – along with Ganjam district in Odisha. The Central government must assist in all possible ways to see that communication and infrastructure are restored and for a complete return to normal life.
Outcome of PM Visit to US
The Polit Bureau took serious note of the fact that the United States has sought to pressurize India on the Indian Patent law and Intellectual Property Rights policy. It also sought the dilution of the civil nuclear liability law of the country. Both these are reflected in the joint statement issued by Prime Minister Modi and President Obama. The joint statement announced the decision to set up an Intellectual Property Working Group. The US pharmaceutical companies have been demanding that India dilute its present patent regime which has utilised the flexibilities provided in the TRIPS agreement. It is this which helps to keep drug prices low for the people in India.
The Polit Bureau demanded that the Modi Government not resile from the existing patent law and IPR regime. No changes should be brought without public discussion and being debated in parliament.
The joint statement also provides for setting up Contact Groups to discuss liability issues in the nuclear reactors sales. The Polit Bureau reiterated that the provisions of the civil nuclear liability law are in the interests of the safety and security of the people of India and should not be diluted in any way.
The Polit Bureau strongly opposed the decision to go in for renewal of the Indo-US Defence Framework Agreement for another 10 years. Such a long term defence collaboration agreement with the United States is uncalled for and is not in the interests of India’s strategic autonomy and independent foreign policy.
Reduce Oil Prices
There has been a sharp fall in the international prices of oil. At present, crude oil price has gone below $ 90 per barrel. Despite this, the Modi government has not reduced the prices of diesel at any stage. The retail price of petrol also needs to be reduced further.
The Polit Bureau demands an immediate cut in the petroleum prices.
Curtailment of MNREGA
The Modi government has taken steps to curtail and restrict the rural employment guarantee Act. The government move is to restrict the employment guarantee scheme to selected districts and blocks. This will go against the Act which provides for universal coverage in the rural areas. Secondly, the move is to change the ratio between material and wages. This will bring down the wage component and reduce the availability of the scheme and open the way for contractors.
The Polit Bureau reiterated the call to conduct a countrywide campaign against the moves to curtail the employment guarantee Act and calls upon the Party and various mass organisations to conduct struggles to see that the scheme is implemented in full in the rural areas.
The Polit Bureau finalised the draft Review Report on the Political-tactical line. This will be placed for discussion in the next meeting of the Central Committee to be held from October 26 to 29, 2014.