The CPM argues that the Planning Commissions report on poverty,showing a decline of nearly three times under the UPA,is an election-time exercise to mislead people for electoral dividends. The manner in which this has been done only reconfirms an age-old English adage there are lies,damned lies and statistics, says the CPMs Peoples Democracy in its editorial. It also questions the Tendulkar methodology.
Responding to the poverty line of spending more than Rs 33.33 in cities and Rs 27.20 in villages per day,not only on food but on all goods and services,so not to be poor,it says,There cannot be a more absurd and inhuman definition of being a non-poor person… The C. Rangarajan committee appointed to re-visit the Tendulkar committee methodology for tabulating poverty is expected to submit its report only in mid-2014,after the next general elections,says the editorial.
Thereby the UPA government can continue to mislead and fool people with such absurd statistics. These definitions of poverty on the basis of per capita consumption are so abysmally low that they cannot maintain basic nutritional consumption,leave alone health,shelter,clothing and other essential requirements. Such definitions are even below what can be called destitution levels, it adds.
NO CLOSURE YET
CPI weekly New Age questions Narendra Modis assertion in a recent interview that he has been given a clean chit by the SIT appointed by the Supreme Court. This was a misrepresentation of facts. The fact is that the Supreme Court did not accept the SITs conclusion that there was no prosecutable evidence against Modi. Not satisfied by the SITs conclusion,the Supreme Court directed Amicus Curiae Raju Ramachandran,who had already been appointed to assist the court in the case,[to assess the evidence gathered and meet with the witnesses directly,bypassing the SIT.
Ramachandran submitted his final report in July 2011 after which the Supreme Court asked the SIT to further investigate in the light of the amicus curiaes report, New Age says. It notes that the SIT,after further investigation and ignoring of the contents of Ramachandrans report,filed a closure report in an Ahmedabad court last year,against which the petitioners Zakia Jafri and Citizens for Justice and Peace are currently arguing in the Ahmedabad court.
UNCLE SAMS FDI
The CPI(ML) journal ML Update accuses the UPA government of working overtime to please the US regarding the relaxation in FDI norms. With the exchange value of the Indian rupee nose-diving to 60 per dollar,Indias import bill is becoming increasingly unmanageable. Short-term compulsions of debt repayment are also exerting great pressure on Indias forex reserves. It was a similar scenario in the early 1990s that led the Indian policy establishment to opt for the neoliberal package of liberalisation,privatisation and globalisation.
And after 22 years,as the Indian economy finds itself in a deeper mess,Indian policymakers can think of no other course but to extend still greater concessions to global capital, the editorial argues.
Bidens wishlist gives us an idea of the kind of concessions the Americans are demanding. and the Congress may well end up extending. The US wants not only greater FDI concessions in every sector,but a lenient tax regime and still greater Indian reliance on American imports… In particular,the US wants India to completely open up the insurance sector,accept the intellectual property right claims of US pharmaceutical companies and weaken,if not altogether waive,the liability clause in civilian nuclear trade… it says.
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