Power to buyhttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/power-to-buy/

Power to buy

The moot question is why did investments decline in the first place


Questioning the fundamentals of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s prescription for reviving the Indian economy through fiscal consolidation and by creating a better investment climate,the CPM’s People’s Democracy says the corrective strategy proposed is based on a “wrong analysis of reversing the trend of declining investment.” Referring to Singh’s speech at the CII annual meet last week,the editorial claims that investments declined because of inadequate purchasing power in the economy caused by subsidy cuts,fuel price hikes and “overall galloping inflation rate”.

“The moot question is why did investments decline in the first place? Massive concessions were given in the past three years yet industrial,manufacturing,in fact,the overall growth rate declined. The reason lies in the reality that unless there is purchasing power in the economy,investments by themselves can never produce growth. After all,what is produced needs to be sold,both for profits and growth. This,in turn,requires the adequate purchasing power in the economy,” the editorial says,adding,“A reversal of the slowdown of the Indian economy can only happen by increasing the purchasing power of the Indian people. This,in turn,can only happen if the UPA government stops doling out the massive tax concessions and,instead,employs these resources to fund massive public investments.”


Slamming West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for the death of a student activist in Kolkata,allegedly in police custody,the editorial in the CPI’s New Age says,“more hurtful than the brutal murder of the student leader” has been the attitude of the chief minister who has tried to pass the incident off as an “accident”.


It says that Banerjee,“who had acquired notoriety in making very inhuman and irresponsible statements,tried to turn it into an accidental death…” It adds,“While falsifying it as an accidental death,she also recalled that her supporters too have died in similar circumstances when she was not in power. It simply means that the past police mistakes justify the police brutality under her regime. Similarly,displaying a totally inhuman approach,she also compared the death with accidents on railway tracks by hitting head with lampposts.” The editorial also claims that Banerjee is reluctant to allow college union elections,which is what the student activists were demanding,because she fears educational institutions are turning into “hubs of opposition against her regime.”

Extolling West Bengal’s erstwhile Left regime,the CPI mouthpiece says the state was once the “model in maintaining law-and-order,even during the troubled days of communal violence in other parts of the country.”


The CPI-ML’s ML Update focuses on its just-concluded ninth congress at Ranchi. It claims that the congress’s theme — calling for defending “People’s Resources,People’s Rights’ against corporate plunder,smashing of the ‘Business-Politics Nexus’ and strengthening of a ‘People’s Politics’ emerging from people’s struggles” — resonated with the people in the backdrop of scams and corruption scandals. ML Update also says the theme was apt for Jharkhand where all ruling coalitions and parties have facilitated the “corporate plunder of resources by evicting the resisting indigenous Adivasis through ruthless repression” since the state’s formation. The “foremost task” of the Left at such a juncture is “to unite with people’s movements and seek to assert a people’s political alternative rooted in people’s resistance,” the report adds.

Compiled by Ruhi Tewari