D. Raja, General Secretary, Communist Party of India has issued the following statement to the press after concluding 3 day’s National Council meeting held at Kolkata on and from 2-4 February, 2020:
The National Council of Communist Party of India met at Bhupesh Gupta Bhavan in Kolkata on 2-4 February, 2020.The meeting was presided over by Com. Swapan Banerjee, National Executive member and the State Secretary of West Bengal.
Political and organizational Report were presented by the General Secretary Com. D. Raja and detailed and thorough discussion on that report took place in the meeting, 40 members spoke on the report.
Since last National Council meeting which was held in July in Delhi, Economic situation of the country has deteriorated and Economy is in shambles. Unemployment has reached unprecedented height and agrarian crisis has escalated along with rising food inflation and income disparities. Government was initially in denial about slowdown in economy but now very reluctantly accepting the reality. However its pro-corporate, anti-labour and anti-farmer policies continues and recent budget was reflection of that.
Our party has given a call to all to protest against economic policy of this government and budget by observing a protest week from 12 February to 18th February along with other left parties.
A resolution against the anti-people pro-corporate budget was passed in the meeting which along with other things. Privatization of public sectors, particularly BPCL and selling of shares of LIC was condemned. Government has failed to realize its tax targets due to faulty GST and slow down has affected collection of direct taxes, hence government is selling profit making PSUs. This will harm the National interest and Government ability to deal with future crisis. During this period government has deliberately pursuing divisive agenda by abrogating Article 370, Triple Talaq passing of unconstitutional CAA and declaring Nationwide NRC and NPR to create fear amongst minorities and poor section of the society.
However all over India, particularly in North-East and national capital people have protested against this divisive agenda. Youth, students and women in particular are in the forefront of the protest movement and so far Government and RSS agenda of making CAA, NRC as Hindu-Muslim issue has failed but the danger is still there as is shown by incidents of firing in Jamia and Shaheen Bagh. Party along with other left and democratic forces has stood with the people to defend, secular democratic values of the constitution to oppose anti constitutional act.
Whole of North-East is in turmoil, situation in whole Kashmir valley is tense and thousands of people along with three former Chief Ministers have been put under house arrest. As per J&K Chamber of Commerce there is loss of Rs. 18,000 crores to GDP because of internet and transport shut down. Party demands immediate release of all those political activists who are detained, restoration of internet services and democratic process. Apprehension of North-East people about their identity has to be addressed. 1500 people in Assam are arrested so far. Party has given a call to observe a month long protest starting from 22nd February (The day of Royal Indian Navy Revolt in 1946) to 23rd March (The day of Martyrdom of Shahid Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru). AS both these days are important in freedom movement of India and also emphasis unity in diversity which is central to Indian freedom movement and constitution.
Similarly on February 20 party has given a call to observe a day for “Reason and Rationality” to pay regards to Shahid Com. Govind Pansare who was assassinated by fundamentalist Right-Wing forces and whose murderers are still not arrested by the Government.
Similarly party has called for ideological campaign to commemorate declaration of the Communist manifesto on 21st February 1848.
Similarly party has passed a resolution against the three capital proposal of Andhra Pradesh Government and shifting of capital from Amravati, along with other resolutions congratulates workers and farmers for participating in huge number to make 8th January strike a success and also in the light of Bodo agreement, party has asserted that there should be no division of Assam. Similarly Party has supported Khet Mazdoor March by BKMU on 20th March in Delhi.
Along with political report and organizational report was adopted – showing the need for a strong ideologically oriented militant organization.
The members were enthused by the deliberation and went back with determination to rebuilt a strong party to face and defeat the fascist RSS-BJP Government.
1. Resolution on Budget 2020
The Budget presented by the government for the year 2020-21 is once again frustrating and disappointing. It is another document in favour of the corporates. Even when there is a serious economic crisis, the government has not bothered to take measures to revive the economy. There is no measure to control inflation and prices. Unemployment is unprecedented and yet there is no concrete scheme to boost employment. There is recession in the economy but no measures have been announced to ensure income and purchasing power to the common people. Without this, talking of growth of higher GDP will be a deception. Agriculture sector is the base of our economy but the investment in this vital sector is inadequate. Repeating the assurance that farmers’ income would be doubled has become a joke because since it is repeated from 2014 budget but farmers’ suicides are on the increase and the agrarian distress continues. Input cost is ever growing and few crops under MSP is produced. Only 15% is by GOI agencies and no decision is taken to provide remunerative prices to peasantry. Allocation for NREGA has been reduced by 13% along with allocation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Our tax structure is already regressive but again further concessions are given in corporate tax. But, for the middle class tax-payers tax burden is increased in the name of simplification by removing the existing exemptions and now two types to tax regimes will exist.
More and more emphasis is given to private sector. Building another 100 Airports at public exchequer and later hand over to private sector. Existing public sector is being sold and privatized. IDBI bank will be privatized. LIC is also sought to be privatized. These are most retrograde measures.
Education sector will be further commercialized by allowing 100% FDI and external commercial borrowing. When we need more doctors and nurses in our country to improve health care, the government is talking of training doctors to take jobs abroad.
Bad loans in banks is another serious problem. But no action is proposed to recover the loans. More concessions are given to corporates to write off bad loans.
Talking of 10% growth in GDP without any concrete step is only imaginary. It is not achievable if the present economic policies are continued. This will only aggrate crony capitalism. It is a matter of shame that government is openly declaring that corporate are the wealth creators. Toiling people are being exploited and deprived of their basic rights.
This budget is anti-people and pro-corporate. This national council meeting calls upon to build a countrywide campaign to expose the government’s anti-people economic policies.
2. Resolution Against Disinvestment in and privatisation of LIC
Continuing their committed policy of privatisation of public sector undertakings, the BJP Government has announced further measures in that direction in the recent Budget. The Budget is full of announcements in favour of private sector and private capitalists.
One of the disturbing announcements made in the Budget relates to the decision to disinvest a portion of Government’s stake in LIC and thus start the process of privatisation of LIC.
LIC is a premier financial institution in our country under public sector and is contributing for our national economy in a big way. In addition to catering to the interests of millions and millions of ordinary people who are policy-holders, LIC is also an important investor and thus a catalyst in national economic development. LIC is a big financial cushion for the Government. Now LIC is targeted for disinvestment and privatisation.
It is important to recall that in 2018, IMF advised our Government to remove the existing sovereign guarantee clause in the LIC policies and convert LIC into a Company. That is what the Government is trying to do now by this announcement in the Budget.
LIC is our nation’s pride and a flagship financial institution. With a meagre investment, the Government is reaping huge dividend from LIC year after year. It is a golden goose but the Government wants to cut it.
Attempts to privatise LIC is a most retrograde step and would be totally against the interests of the millions of policy holders in particular and our country in general.
CPI strongly opposes this decision and demands of the Government to withdraw this proposal to disinvest in LIC.
3. Resolution on Congratulating Working Class for 8th January National General Strike
National Council meeting congratulates the Indian working class for their magnificent All India united strike on 8th January and the Kisan and Student organizations for the solidarity.
National Council notes that it was a joint action of CTU’s and independent Federations and Associations minus the BMS. Starting from a workers national mass convention in New Delhi on 30th September which gave the call for 8th January strike, many sectoral joint and AITUC led conventions were held to propogate the 12 point charter of demand. Later even the ‘Withdraw CAA’ demand was added. This put the BMS on the back foot and had to announce their own action in opposition to the government anti-worker policies.
But the National Council notes that the government is going ahead with their agenda regardless - one code on wages has been passed and the other three have been placed in the Parliament. “Strategic sale of PSUs”, merger of PSU banks, privatization of railways, LIC, BPCL, Coal, Air India, airports and other sectors etc is going on as seen in the recent budget. The government wishes to meet the challenge of slowdown in economy by demolishing public sector enterprises by selling them. But this would cause further detriment in the economy.
National Council calls on AITUC to double their efforts in cementing the unity they have achieved of CTUs as that will be the prerequisite to fight the future calamities the working class is bound to force.
4. Resolution on Impact of Budget on Health Sector
The National Council of the Communist Party of India in its meeting held at Kolkata from 2nd - 4th February 2020 expresses deep concern at total neglect of health in the budget presented by the Union Finance Minister on 1st February. The allocation to health is extremely low. Only 69000 crore rupees allotted where as the health ministry had demanded 1.17 lakh crores of rupees. This is only 8% increase from the last budget which even may not meet the inflation that occurred during this period. It will not fulfill the health needs of the people of the country. A minimum of 300000 crore rupees is required in the public sector whereas public our health expenditure continues is around 1.2 % per cent of the GDP. Moreover the thrust has been given to providing healthcare in the private sector. The decision to hand over district hospitals to the private sector under the PPP mode is extremely dangerous as it will further marginalize the access to health care by the downtrodden low economic group people of the country. The corporate sector will be given land to open medical colleges and attached them to the district hospitals on lease and enjoy all the infrastructure development done by the state till date. Only fifty per cent of the people visiting the district hospitals will be entitled for free healthcare others will have to pay for the treatment as decided by the new private owners. The free patients will have to get clearance from a designated authority so they will have to run here and there to get the clearance. The money allotted for PMJAY and the wellness clinics is also too low. To meet the desired results under the Ayshman Bharat 160000 crore is required. Present amount is grossly underfunded. Because of the restraints like family should not have pucca house or a motor cycle only 40% of the Ayshman budget is utilised. The budget also does not say anything about Aaganwadi and Asha workers regularisation. There is no talk of regulating and bringing down the drug prices. We demand immediate increase in the budget and review of the decision to handover district hospitals to the private sector.
5. AMARAVATHI MUST BE CONTINUED AS THE CAPITAL
It would be beneficial, in all aspects, to continue Amaravathi as the capital of Andhra Pradesh state as it assumed significance in the progress of Telugus both geographically and historically. CPI made an equivocal demand to make Vijayawada the capital of the then the AP state when it was first delinked from the Madras province. Communist stalwarts Chandra Rajeswararao, Putchalapalli Sundaraiah and Tarimela Nagireddy resolved that Vijayawada shall be made the capital of the state. But some selfish forces objected to the resolution for their political interests. Communist Party of India (CPI) was the first to declare that Vijayawada be made the capital of Andhra Pradesh State when it was bifurcated from Telangana in 2014.
The Legislative Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution accepting Amaravathi as be the capital of the AP state. All political parties, including the then opposition leader Mr. Jaganmohana Reddy and people of all regions too gave their consent and did not raise any objection to the resolution. Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid a foundation stone for capital of Amaravathi. The union government also gave its nod. Constructions are being undertaken in the undisputed capital area with the partly released central funds to the time of Rs.9500 crores. The administration has been continuing from Amaravathi for the last five years.
But all of sudden present Chief Minister Jaganmohana Reddy reverse stand and he is trifurcating the capital by three areas which is not viable and useful for the people and it will not represent the spirit of the people of Andhra Pradesh.
For the past 45 days people are struggling to restore Amaravathi as capital. Even legislative council chairman also sent the bill to select committee. Now the government passed a resolution in the Assembly to abolish legislative council and sent it to central government to take revenge on the Legislative.
National Council urges the Chief Minister that he should not proceed with his unilateral decisions of desist for implementation of the decision.
6. Resolution on Health Situation In Kashmir
The National Council Meeting of the Communist Party of India being held at Kolkata from 2nd - 4th February notes with concern that the health of the people in the valley is alarming. Reeling under the uncertainty due to persecution by the state as well as the terrorist groups the people have developed several stress related mental health problems. But after the abrogation of article 370 in the valley followed by large scale arrests of the political leaders, ordinary people, even the minors, the situation has worsened. The schools remained closed for a long time causing extreme stress on the children who could not appear in the examination. People of the region feel cheated, totally alienated and are full of anger & helplessness and revenge. Putting so large number of army personnel on duty has further led to feeling of suppression in them. This has further added to the existing mental health problems. Absence of telephone services, internet, public transport and restriction of movement caused extreme difficulty for the patients to contact the doctors. Effect Poor state of affairs of civic amenities under such situations caused physical health problems. This led to several incidents of serious health related consequences. To add to the woes of the people Dr Omar, a Kidney diseases specialist was detained just for appealing to ease the situation for transport of the people to reach the dialysis unit. Cardiologists complain of serious effect on the patients with cardiac emergencies. There has been acute shortage of drugs. The national council of the CPI demands appropriate steps to assuage the feelings of the people, revoke article 370, make internet services and mobile services available throughout the valley. It is imperative to hold an independent study into health situation that cropped up since 5th August 2019.
7. Resolution on Bodoland Agreement
While struggling against many issues viz, CAA, NRC, NPA etc by the people of Assam and the Northern States, the Government of India in the name of bringing peace in Bodoland, very recently on 27th January has signed an agreement with NDFB, with four fractions, All Bodo Student Union has signed third agreement on Bodoland. It is good all the militant groups of Bodoland had laid down arms, surrendered and came to the mainstream. CPI, Assam State Council while welcoming it and party is carefully watching that the agreement how far it will be executed in restoring peace. As because Chief Executive of BTAD, has expressed apprehension that after the full implementation of the promises in the Agreement Bodo Territorial Region (BTR) will be automatically turned to be a State.
The CPI reiterates that party will oppose any move to divide the State. The Central government should have discussed with the other political parties and BTAD as Bodo population in proposed BTAD is only 20%. But the Central Government did not consult the elected member of Parliament of Kokrajhar was not even contacted. Party criticizes the one sided approach of the government which is unjust, undemocratic and uncalled for. The CPI demands that before implementing the agreement the government should initiate a consultation with the stake holders and settle the issue.
8. Resolution on BKMU Rally in the Capital
The Bharatiya Khet Mazdoor Union has solemnly request the National Council Member of Communist Party of India to render their full valuable support to make the agricultural workers of our country who propose to conduct a big rally in front of Parliament House in New Delhi on coming 20th March 2020 to demand for the uplift of their livelihood a success.
1. MGNREGA working days be enhanced up to 200 days wages increased up to Rs.500 a day.
2. Rs.5000 as pension per month may be provided at the age of 60.
3. Rs.5 lakhs as subsidy to be provided for the construction of Pucca Houses.
4. To stop all kinds of social atrocities.
5. To implement Land Reforms Act strictly and provide 5 cents to the handless for the construction of houses.
SC and ST sub-plan to be implemented without diversion of money into others welfare.