People's Democracy

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


No. 18

May 05, 2013






Bring out Facts on Spurious Drug Supplies


THROUGH a statement issued from Srinagar, on April 18, the Jammu & Kashmir state committee of the CPI(M) has expressed serious concern over the day-to-day disclosures of scams and other administrative irregularities in the state Jammu and Kashmir. The party has demanded that, keeping aside the factional political considerations involved and the blame game between the heads of the departments, the state government must order a thorough probe into these shocking leaks for the larger public interest.


The level of corruption and financial mismanagement in the state administration has reached to distressingly low levels, the party’s state committee demanded. It was of the belief that while the people are shocked by the recent reports carried by the print and electronic media about spurious drugs, the cases of corruption surfacing regularly in the media reflect a pattern and the height of narrow interest.


Be it the corruption and irregularities in the PHE or the irrigation department, that grabbed the attention of both the houses of Legislative Assembly in its recently concluded session, or the issue of spurious drugs being supplied to hospitals; scams have been tumbling out almost everyday. The CPI(M) statement said that while by now the government must have come out with the facts on these issues of utmost importance, it has to the contrary not even made a proper statement on this subject. Also, ironically, there are reports that even an official included in the list of suspects is part of the departmental investigation in the spurious drugs scam. The scars of infant mortality at the valley’s lone children’s hospital were still fresh in the minds of the people when the spurious drugs supplied to them further refreshed these scars.


The silence on part of the government on this crucial issue is further adding to the people’s doubts that there is a deep rooted nexus behind it. In order to clear these aspersions, the government must come out clean on the subject in the best interest of the public. There is also a need for necessary and effective steps to be taken to bring down the level of corruption by strengthening the systems of monitoring and vigilance in government departments. The CPI(M) said rampant corruption in the administration has alienated the people in Jammu and Kashmir to the hilt, and if the government is serious in its promises to weed out the corruption in the state, there is an urgent need to strengthen the already existing institutions of probity and accountability in the system.


The CPI(M) also pointed out that almost all programmes initiated by the central government are not delivering the desired results. The government of India has repeatedly censured the state for its failure to implement the MNREGA and other centrally sponsored schemes in Jammu & Kashmir.


The recent revelations made by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), informing that the Jammu and Kashmir government has failed to submit 2,931 utilisation certificates amounting to over Rs 2,118 crore to the centre, is also disappointing. The state committee of CPI(M) is of the opinion that such a lacklustre attitude will affect the flow of funds to the state in future, and therefore this needs to be looked into for the welfare of the people.  




ON April 21, the Nirman Mazdoor Union of Jammu held its first conference at Baba Butta Hall, Miaran Sahib, in which about 200 delegates hailing from different districts of Jammu region participated. After the flag hosting by Kishore Kumar, a sarpanch and a leader of  the J&K Kisan Tehrik, the conference discussed the problems facing the construction workers and decided to press its demands like enforcement of labour laws, implementation of the central welfare act for construction workers in the state, Rs 10,000 minimum wages, reduction in the prices of essential commodities and building materials, ensured safety at worksites, housing for all, registration of workers and immediate benefits to  the beneficiaries. A procession then stared from the Bhagat Singh Park, marched through the bazaar and culminated at the Main Chowk of the bazaar.


While addressing the rally, veteran CITU leader Sham Prasad Kesar detailed how the central and state governments has increased their attacks on workers through their neo-liberal policies and how there is a crude kind of exploitation of workers all over the state. He added that the welfare board for construction workers, set up by the J&K government, has not been working satisfactorily. The registration applications of the poor workers are not being accepted; rather the concerned offices have been harassing the workers for the reasons best known to their officials. To the few registered workers too, benefits are not being paid and a number of claim applications are lying pending in the registering office without any justification. He demanded that construction workers and their dependent be provided with free medical facility. He further said the amounts of all welfare schemes must be increased in view of the increasing price rise; sheds must be made at every bazar adda where the workers assemble to sell their labour power; and housing colonies made for the workers.  


Ramesh Chand and Kishore Kumar dealt with the issue of strict enforcement of labour laws and stringent punitive measures for their violation. In fact at least 90 per cent of disputes and conflicts in workplaces in the country relate to just non-implementation of labour laws. The speakers also raised the issues of minimum wages, working hours and working conditions, safety in workplaces, social security benefits etc.


Girdhari Lal and Baba Ram, president and general secretary of the union respectively, also raised issues like overtime, weakly paid rest, retrenchment benefits, equal pay for equal work, housing facilities, medical facilities etc. They said whenever workers organise or protest, the government flings into action in favour of employers; those taking part in union activities are thrown out on false charges.


The conference elected a committee for the union for the next two years.