February 6, 2002

Press Statement

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued 
the following statement:

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) strongly denounces the decision of the 
Union Cabinet to decontrol the movement of essential commodities and 
reduce the price control on essential drugs. These decisions will have 
far reaching consequences for the livelihood of crores of people.
The sweeping decontrol is tantamount to the government abdicating its 
responsibility of procuring essential commodities at a minimum support 
price. This measure was the result of the freedom movement which 
assured protection to the farmer from all sorts of uncertainties while 
at the same time also protecting the consumer through a public 
distribution system. Leaving everything to the market -- the reigning 
philosophy of `reforms' -- had, in the past, ruined the lives of 
millions of farmers. It is, indeed, ominous that such a decision has 
come when there are reports of growing starvation deaths and distress 
suicides amongst the farmers. 

Further, it must be recollected that these restrictions on the 
movement of essential commodities were introduced, in the first place, 
to prevent speculative hoarding by traders leading to artificial price 
hikes. By removing the restrictions now, the Vajpayee government is 
making crores of people vulnerable by placing them at the mercy of 
predatory speculators and hoarders. 


cpim website http://www.cpim.org
people's democracy http://pd.cpim.org

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