People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
November 25, 2007
Check Price Rise
The women’s organisations - All India Democratic Women’s Association(AIDWA), Center For Women’s Development Studies(CWDS), Guild Of Service(GOS), Joint Women’s Programe (JWP), Muslim Women’s Forum(MWF), National Federation Of Indian Women(NFIW) and Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) have jointly issued the following statement on November 19, 2007
WOMEN’s organisations have condemned the statement made by the prime minister that prices are ‘under control’, which has added insult to injury at a time when the prices of all essential commodities are spiraling out of reach of the average household. The prices particularly of food grains, pulses, onions and other vegetables, milk, and essential medicines are escalating sharply, and poor women are drastically affected by this increase.
Shockingly, the UPA government has systematically reduced the food subsidy in every budget: by Rs. 2000 crores in the 2006 budget and then by Rs. 600 crores in 2007-2008. It is now considering a proposal for hiking the prices of food grains for the BPL and APL cardholders, cutting allocations to both sections and also cutting down the food grain component in all employment generation schemes. State quotas of wheat and kerosene have already been reduced. An increase for the eighth time in petroleum prices is on the cards. The government has refused to take any steps to stop hoarding and forward trading in foodgrains.
Due to these unfortunate policy measures, price rise continues to threaten the already compromised budgets of the majority of households. Hence, the undersigned women’s organisations demand that the government should take stern action against black marketers, and hoarders, ban speculative forward trading in essential commodities, universalise the PDS and increase the budgetary allocation for the PDS. Otherwise, women will unitedly take to the streets in support of these demands.