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FDI is no help

With the UPA government reaching out to the BJP to seek the main opposition party’s support on key economic reforms.

Written by Manoj C G | Published: August 14, 2013 12:07:48 am

With the UPA government reaching out to the BJP to seek the main opposition party’s support on key economic reforms,the Left argues that a fresh round of match-fixing seems to have begun. It ckaims there is not much difference between the economic orientations of the two parties. An editorial in the CPM’s People’s Democracy critcises the move to increase FDI limits across the board and argues greater FDI inflow will not result in employment generation and a higher growth rate: “This is a flawed logic. Most of the FDI in sectors like insurance,banking,etc are not investments directly in production and,hence,their employment generation capacity is low. Further,investments in production can yield higher growth rates and employment only when there is sufficient domestic demand to absorb such production.

“Given the state of the Indian economy today,with the falling growth rate leading to greater unemployment,the relentless rise in the prices of all essential commodities (leaving much lower levels of purchasing power for manufactured goods amongst the people) is contracting the already existing low levels of domestic demand. Hence,a higher inflow of FDI will not automatically lead to a revival of India’s manufacturing and industrial growth…” it argues.

The editorial calls for an increase in public spending and infrastructure-creation saying that would generate growth of employment and boost domestic demand. “UPA 2 government seems hellbent on vigorously pursuing the neoliberal reform agenda. In the process,they seem to have found an ally in the BJP,confirming the fact that on the score of economic reforms,there is little difference between the two,” it concludes.

For all workers

An article in the CPI’s New Age hits out at the UPA for what it calls anti-worker policies,focusing on the decision of Central trade unions to launch an agitation against the government. The trade unions,including the Congress’s INTUC,have decided to organise street protests in September and a march on Parliament in December. The article discusses the demands,which range from fixing a minimum wage of not less than Rs 10,000 a month to universal social security for all workers and assured pension,to same-wage and benefits for contract workers as regular workers.

Senior CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta says the government was least concerned about workers’ right to lead a dignified life,farmer suicides,burgeoning unemployment and social security for women: “We are not opposed to foreign capital but it should come for building infrastructure,generating employment opportunities and boosting production. How much FDI has come to India during the last three years in the retail sector? Indeed the investments and savings have gone down. Production has come to standstill in agriculture and industry…”

Fanning Hatred

AN editorial in the CPI(ML)’s ML Update talks about the increase in incidents of communal violence,the latest being the conflagration in Kishtwar in Jammu and Kashmir. On the Kishtwar incident,it demands an investigation as to whether the initial clashes with an Id procession were spontaneous,or engineered by political forces. The editorial alleges that the BJP and Sangh Parivar were trying to fan the flames of communal violence. “The BJP’s effort is to capitalise on the J&K clashes in order to put communal wind in the sails of its election campaign towards the next Lok Sabha polls. Every communal conflagration for the BJP,especially one in J&K,is an occasion to boost its hate campaign that paints the Muslims as ‘enemies of the nation’. Anti-Pakistan jingoism therefore goes hand in hand with their attempts to foment communal hatred,” it says.

The editorial also looks at the rise in communal violence in other states. Quoting media reports,it says two dozen instances of communal clashes have been reported in Bihar ever since the JD(U)-BJP split. In UP,too,it states that there has been communal violence in Meerut,and an escalation since the Samajwadi Party came to power.

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