Ravi S Singh
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, June 13
The Left parties in a joint statement on Sunday demanded the rollback of a hike in petroleum products and urged the government to control prices of essential commodities and drugs.
The joint statement has been signed by Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary, Communist Party of India (Marxist); D Raja, General Secretary, Communist Party of India; Debabrata Biswas, General Secretary, All India Forward Bloc; Manoj Bhattacharya, General Secretary, Revolutionary Socialist Party and Dipankar Bhattacharya, General Secretary, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)Liberation.
The parties jointly directed their state units to ensure the success of the call for country-wide protest against the rise in prices of petrol and essential commodities and drugs.
The Left-leaning organisation which will organise a five day-protest beginning June 16, have contextualised it with the rise of prices with the trail of hardships to the common man due to upheavals caused by the Covid pandemic, not least the kind of apocalyptic of its second wave.
"More assaults on people’s livelihood are being mounted by this relentless rise in prices of all essential commodities," Yechury said.
"Instead of helping people to combat the ravages of the Covid health catastrophe, the Modi government hiked the prices of petroleum products by at least 21 times after the announcement of results of the recent assembly elections on May 2," Raja said.
The Left leaders said the rise in prices has to lead to a cascading inflationary spiral with the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) rising to an eleven-year high.
In a joint statement, they said that prices of food articles have risen by nearly 5 per cent in April. Primary commodities saw a rise of 10.16 per cent and manufactured products have risen by 9.01 per cent. By the time these commodities reach the retail markets, the consumers are charged much more.
They attributed this to black-marketing and hoarding taking place under state patronage.
They asked the Union government to give direct cash transfers of Rs. 7500 per month for six months to all families not in the income tax-paying bracket.
They said the provisions announced by PM Modi regarding the extension of PMGKAY till Diwali of 5kgs of foodgrains is completely inadequate and does not cover the neediest.
Hence, 10 kg food grains per month to all individuals including a food kit with pulses, edible oil, sugar, spices, tea must be distributed free.
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