People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
July 02, 2006
AIKS Calls For Protests Against Price Rise
The All India Kisan Sabha president S Ramachandran Pillai and general secretary K Varadha Rajan issued the following statement on June 23, 2006
THE people are experiencing an all round rise in prices of essential commodities like wheat, pulses, edible oils, vegetables and medicines. The rise in prices of petrol and diesel has added fuel to the fire. The government’s latest announcement of free import of wheat and sugar will not bring down the prices unless the basic policies of the government are changed.
P Chidambaram, finance minister, has announced that there is no other way than liberalising import to control the price rise. He has also said that this is because of stagnation of production in wheat, pulses and sugar.
The stagnation of production is the result of the wrong policies pursued by the governments for the last fifteen years. Giving up priority for foodgrain production has led to stagnation in foodgrain production. More over, as far as wheat is concerned, the production this year is around to 72 million tonnes which is enough for consumption in India. Instead of procuring wheat for the Public Distribution System, the government deliberately delayed the procurement and allowed the private parties to purchase and stock wheat as much as possible. Instead of procuring around 16 million tonnes, the government has procured around 9 million tonnes which is the lowest ever since 1997-98.
Now, instead of taking action against the hoarders who artificially increase the prices of wheat, allowing import that too by the private traders is objectionable and only will help the traders.
The government which has fixed the MSP at Rs 7000 per tonne is now importing wheat at the cost of Rs 10,000 per tonne. This shows the inherent defects of the policies of the government. The AIKS opposes the government’s action in relaxing the quality norms as far as wheat import is concerned.
The wrong policies pursued by the government adversely affect both the producers and consumers. The AIKS demands that the government should take immediate action against hoarding and bring down the prices of essential commodities.
The AIKS also demands that the essential commodities like pulses, edible oils should be included in the Public Distribution System. It calls upon its units to hold protest actions against this price rise. (INN)