People's Democracy

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


Vol. XXXIV

No. 14

April 04, 2010

Delhi Budget: CPI(M) Lambasts Anti-People Proposals

 

IN a statement issued on March 23, the Delhi state secretariat of Communist Party of India (Marxist) strongly condemned the anti-people proposals of the Delhi state budget 2010-11. the CPI(M) has demanded immediate withdrawal of the proposal to increase the price of cooking gas by Rs 40 per cylinder and to hike the diesel and CNG prices through increase in VAT.

According to the CPI(M), the proposals to hike cooking gas, diesel and CNG prices come in the backdrop of increases in prices of petrol and diesel recently imposed through the central budget. The citizens of Delhi have already had to bear the burden of increases in bus and metro fares, water tariffs and milk prices. Besides, they are daily subjected to the ruinous impact of runaway rise in prices of especially food items. The Delhi budget’s proposals will only further spur inflation and add to the woes of the people.

The state finance minister has sought to justify withdrawal of the subsidy on gas cylinders under the plea that this subsidy was put in place in June 2008 when inflation was very high. The minister is obviously blind to the exorbitant prices of food items today. The CPI(M) opined that the subsidy provided in June 2008 was for getting political gain in the 2008 assembly elections. As no such compulsions exist now, the state government, much like the UPA central government, believes that the people no longer count. 

The reason given to justify these fresh burdens is of raising resources to meet the Commonwealth games expenditure. Hundreds of crores of rupees are being pilfered by contractors and their political patrons in preparations for these games. Rather than raising requisite funds by cracking down on such blatant corruption and taxing the rich, the Delhi government is resorting to looting the people.

The Delhi budget also makes an insidious claim that there will be an increase in social spending undertaken by the state government in the coming financial year. This, the CPI(M) has warned, is a bogus claim. The proposed spending on education remains static at 10 per cent of the budgetary expenditure. Outlay for health has been increased by just one per cent which, given the inflation over the past one year, means no increase at all. As compared to this, with an eye on the Commonwealth games, the budget allocates almost 38 per cent of its total outlay to roads and transport!

The CPI(M) has demanded immediate withdrawal of the budgetary proposals to hike the cooking gas, diesel and CNG prices. It has appealed to the citizens of Delhi to raise their powerful voice in opposition to such blatantly anti-people measures being forced down their throats by the Delhi government. (INN)