(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
August 12, 2012
Demo in Jammu & Kashmir
ON August 2, the CPI(M) organised a
protest demonstration at
1) There must be a universal public distribution system for all.
2) There must be provision of 35 kg of foodgrains per family per month at the rate of two rupees a kilogram.
3) The huge eight crore tonnes of foodgrains in the stock must be distributed by increasing the allocations immediately.
4) The Planning Commission’s highly dubious poverty estimates must be scraped altogether and not used as the basis for allocations in welfare schemes.
5) There must be immediate measures to curb price rise.
Addressing the protestors, CPI(M) state secretary M Y Tarigami said the proposed food legislation would not lead to food security but to food insecurity. Highlighting the government’s apathy towards the poor, he said its unwillingness to spend a meagre one per cent of the GDP for ensuring food security to the people shows its real concern for the poor. On the contrary, it prefers to give tax concessions worth Rs five lakh crore in a single year to big business and corporate houses.
the specific proposals to limit food security benefits to
those whom the
Planning Commission declares to be “below poverty Line,”
Tarigami said such an
aggregate only represents massive statistical underestimation.
poverty line figures of Rs 26 a day for an adult in rural
Expressing deep concern over the relentless rise in the prices of essential commodities, he said the persistent rise in food prices, which puts food out of reach of a vast majority of the people, serves to worsen the situation. Referring to the statistics available he said that over the last five years urban poverty has risen even faster than rural poverty under the double impact of high price inflation and declining employment opportunities.
Emphasising the urgency for a food security legislation that would meet the globally accepted definition of food security for a household, Tarigami demanded measures to strengthen and streamline the existing PDS, root out corruption and make the system more accountable to the people’s needs. He asked the people to forge struggles to force a change of policy and bring relief to the people.
Others who spoke on the occasion included Ghulam Nabi Malik, Abdul Hameed Wani, Ghulam Mohiuddin Lone and Mohammad Afzal Parry who referred to corruption and unemployment, growing disillusionment and desperation in the state. They asked the state government to focus on improvement of power scenario in view of the growing dependence on the energy sector and rising public discontent against the erratic power supply across the state.
day later, on August 3, the
The party’s regional committee secretary Sham Prasad Kesar informed that the demonstration was the culmination of a month-long joint campaign on the issue of food security and price rise conducted by the Left parties throughout the country. Among other things, he demanded implementation of the Swaminathan commission’s recommendations for a fair procurement price and profit margin for farmers.
said according to the United Nation’s Global Hunger Index,
State CITU general secretary Om Parkash, Kishore Kumar, Sohan Lal, Dharm Singh, Bishan Dass, V K Vaid, Babu Ram, Ganesh Dass Bawa Ram, Sunita, Kanta, H D Bhomick and Kulbir Singh, among others, also addressed the gathering.