Statement of purpose

The CPM has long argued that the UPA’s neoliberal policies are impoverishing the people

Written by Manoj C G | Published: April 4, 2012 12:22:04 am

Statement of purpose

The CPM has long argued that the UPA’s neoliberal policies are impoverishing the people. Now,the party is considering a study to identify their impact on “different sections” of the population,believing that its own political future,after recent electoral setbacks,rests on mobilising these sections. In the latest issue of CPM weekly People’s Democracy,the party general secretary,Prakash Karat,writes that it will have to organise the struggles of the working class to expand its political base and influence.

Karat writes in a front-page article on the ongoing 20th Party Congress,that in the current situation,“what is of crucial importance is the strengthening of the CPM and its independent growth all over the country.”

“Along with this,we have to strengthen Left unity and gather all the Left forces to project Left politics. The party has to work to build a Left and democratic alliance which can be the real alternative to the parties of the big bourgeoisie and the bourgeois-landlord order… In the course of building such an alliance in order to fight both the Congress and the BJP,the party will seek to cooperate with other democratic and secular parties on people’s issues and in defence of secularism,” he writes.

Tribal entitlements

An article in People’s Democracy says the inadequate allocations for tribal development made in the Union budget shows that the UPA is not interested in meeting its constitutional obligations towards tribal populations.

“In accordance with constitutional obligations,the total allocations under the Tribal Sub Plan should [be equal to the proportion of the schedule tribe population within the country — that is,about 8.5 per cent. In the 2012-13 budget proposals,Rs 21,710.11 crore have been allocated for tribal specific schemes under the TSP… However… [this is misleading because the percentage of TSP allocation to the total plan budget has actually declined marginally from 4.3 per cent in 2011-12 to a projected 4.1 per cent in 2012-13,” it says.

How poor is poor

The People’s Democracy editorial focuses on the poverty estimates for 2009-10 by the Planning Commission,which claimed an overall reduction in the incidence of poverty by 7.3 per cent.

It said that these figures,based on daily per capita consumption of Rs 28 in urban cities and Rs 22 in rural areas,were a “a gigantic fraud…in the making for some time”.

“After a huge public outcry,the government was forced to revise these ridiculous claims… The government had announced that poverty estimates henceforth would be based on a new methodology… According to reports,the methodology approved by the cabinet will mean that a family of five earning members earning more than Rs 27,000 per annum would be automatically excluded from the BPL list… This not merely echoes the benchmark of the Planning Commission’s [sic,but is,in fact,worse,” it says.

It argues that the plan panel itself prescribes a minimum intake of 2400 calories daily to sustain oneself. “In 2010,this would have cost at least Rs 44. Today,it would be much more,at least a double of what [sic the latest figures that have been doled out by the government.”

Compiled by Manoj C.G

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