(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
January 02, 2011
Govt Policies Lead to Shortages, Price Rise
Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of
THE UPA-2 regime has been marked by its utter failure to control the price rise of essential commodities from foodgrains to sugar and now to onions and other vegetables. There are contradictory statements of different ministries regarding the steps required to control the price of onions, as for example whether official agencies should import onions or not. It is precisely such policies to benefit big market players, being followed by the central government, which have led to the record food inflation which has marked its rule. Similar to the indefensible subsidies given earlier to exporting companies for the export of sugar when it was known that a shortage was looming, and then subsidising imports by helping big sugar companies to make huge profits, the UPA government has given subsidies to onion exporting trading companies to export onions from September 2010, thus deliberately causing a shortage and is now subsidising imports by private traders by removal of all duties. The value of onions exported was up by 26 per cent over the previous year. As a result, some big trading companies as well as hoarders are making huge profits while the income of the common people is being looted through high prices.
The government has deregulated the prices of petrol, leading to price hikes which have a cascading impact on the prices of other commodities. It has still refused to ban futures in essential commodities including wheat and potatoes and is now reportedly considering lifting the ban on futures trade in sugar.
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) condemns these policies of the government which has led to unbearable burdens on the people. It calls for protests against this price rise.