(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
June 15 , 2008
Mass Organisations Condemn Hike In Petro Prices
AIKS & AIAWU
THE All India Agricultural Workers Union (AIAWU) and All India Kisan Sabha(AIKS) has jointly issued the following statement on June 4, 2008
The All India Agricultural Workers Union (AIAWU) and All India Kisan Sabha(AIKS) condemn the UPA government's attempt to make the people pay for the increased profits of global oil dealers. The soaring price of oil has been fuelled by a trillion-dollar speculation on the world market. The Indian government, instead of resisting this gross profiteering, takes its own pound of flesh in the form of a tax on the value of oil just as the private companies who have made contracts with the Indian government before the price-rise have benefited unduly from the recent speculative windfall.
The sky-rocketing prices of oil have given super-profits of crores of rupees to international private companies like Cairns and Reliance, among others, while public sector companies are sustaining losses of around Rs 500 crores per day. It is disgraceful that the UPA government should choose not to touch private profiteers and burden the public sector and Indian people, some 72 percent of whom are in the rural areas, where nearly two lakh peasants have committed suicide on account of the vagaries of the international agricultural prices and the rising costs of inputs and no less than 20,000 have died of hunger in the last eight years.
This new burden of Rs 5 per litre for petrol, Rs 3 per litre for diesel and Rs 50 per cylinder for cooking gas, is unacceptable to the already overburdened masses of this country. We demand that the price rise be ended, with private companies and the government reducing the losses by paying for the international oil price hike as they have already made enough money out of it.
We call on our members to come out militantly to resist this measure until it is revoked.
The UPA government has announced a steep increase in prices of petroleum products. The price of petrol has been increased by Rs 5 and diesel by Rs 3 per litre; while that of an LPG cylinder by Rs 50.
This latest announcement comes close on the heels of galloping inflation over the last few months. The increase in the price of diesel affects prices of all other commodities, including specifically, transportation costs and fares across the board. The steep rise of Rs 50 in the price of the LPG cylinder will add to the strain on family budgets which are as it is reeling under the burden of pro-liberalisation policies. Already the steep increase in prices of all essential commodities has contributed to a rise in cost of living and made it difficult for even those families with regular earnings to make both ends meet. The impact these fresh inflationary measures will have, by adding to the burden of the vast masses surviving below the poverty line with no regular incomes, cannot be underestimated.
AIDWA calls upon women to resist the steep hike in petrol, diesel and cooking gas prices. AIDWA demands that the government should immediately give up these measures that will contribute to inflation and instead take steps to curve the increase in prices.
The AIDWA calls upon the government to stem inflation and take back these measures. The struggle to push back these policies has to be strengthened by all sections of people.
The Students Federation of India and Democratic Youth Federation of India strongly condemn the steep hike in petrol, diesel and cooking gas prices. The price of petrol per litre is increased alarmingly by Rs 5, diesel by Rs 3 and LPG cylinder by Rs 50. SFI and DYFI will conduct immediate protests in this regard through out the country.
We believe that this rise in the prices will affect the people severely at a time when the people of the country are facing the burns of the steep price rise of essential commodities. In the background of the failure of the government to tackle the rising rate of inflation, this hike in petroleum prices will further aggravate the inflationary situation.
Interestingly the alternate proposals given by the Left have been constantly ignored by the government for the last few years.
We demand for the review of the decision on the price hike. The UPA government at the centre needs to cut excise duties more and impose windfall taxes on private companies.
The Students Federation of India and Democratic Youth Federation of India calls upon the students and youth of the country to denounce this anti people move of the government and build countrywide resistance immediately.