People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 34

August 23, 2009

on file



THE other obstacle to a softer monetary policy arises from the outlook on inflation. That the WPI inflation has been in negative territory since June does not matter. The decline is due to the statistical phenomenon of a high base effect and cannot be attributed to demand contraction. The base effect will wear off by September-October. The sharp fall in WPI inflation has been matched by a similar fall in inflation expectations.

Besides, consumer price inflation has remained persistently high due to costlier food articles, which uncertain and erratic monsoons will accentuate.

--- The Hindu, August 03

FIRST the rains failed them, and now government officials are holding back wages for desperate farmers of Bundelkhand who have been driven to work under the National Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) for a living.

A Hindustan Times survey of the drought-hit impoverished pocket in Uttar Pradesh state found that there is no NREGS in operation in many parts of Bundelkhand.

When there is work under the scheme, payment is elusive…..

The delay in payment of wages under NREGS is a double whammy for people in Bundelkhand --- a semi-arid terrain known for dacoits, droughts and deaths from starvation.

About 75 per cent of the 8.2 million people who inhabit the seven districts of Bundelkhand depend on agriculture for subsistence. A majority of them are marginal farmers. NREGS is their only hope when rain fails….

A report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), tabled in UP state assembly on Monday (August 3), said that the state government had made ‘suspicious’ payments under the NREGS in 2007.

Money was given twice to 194 people having the same name and that the government failed to provide necessary manpower to implement the scheme.

The CAG report revealed that officials dedicated to the scheme were not appointed. It slowed the implementation of central schemes such as the NREGS.

One Rozgar Sewak (employment worker) had to be appointed at each of the 2,230 panchayats but almost 32 per cent of the workers had not been appointed.

--- Hindustan Times, August 05