Left to corner Centre on price rise and fuel hike

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New Delhi, Feb 24 (UNI) The Left parties today said they would put the Manmohan Singh government in the dock during the Budget Session of Parliament beginning tomorrow on its 'failure' to check price rise, deepening of the agrarian crisis and "succumbing" to US pressure on nuke deal, while demanding rollback of the fuel price hike.

Talking to UNI, top leaders of the CPI(M) and the CPI said despite the Prime Minister's assurance, nothing had been done so far on the price rise front which had greatly disturbed the household budget of the middle and lower middle class and poor sections of society.

On the presentation of the Rail Budget on Tuesday, they said thay would press for removing the "neglect" pertaining to passenger facilities and laying of new railway tracks.

CPI (M) leaders M K Pandhe and Rup Chand Pal demanded more allocation in the general budget for the farmers, setting up of a debt relief commission, withdrawing duties on agricultural inputs and waiving off loans of the farmers and credit facilities to them at the simple four per cent rate of interest.

CPI leader and floor leader in Lok Sabha Gurudas Dasgupta said Left parties will press for consideration of the Sengupta Report on employment situation in the unorganised sector, the provision of social security to those working in the sector besides attacking the government for its move to merge, disinvest and privatise various public sector banks.

The Left leaders said they would also protest how the employment opportunities in both the organised and unorganised sectors have declined during the last 15 years since the adoption of the new economic policies in the country." Mr Pandhe, the party Polit Bureau member and Mr Pal, party Chief Whip in the Lok Sabha, said they would press for reintroduction of the long-term capital gains tax, imposition of tax on share market transaction and tax concessions for small scale industries.

The Left leaders would also raise the demand for unearthing the "huge black money" racket and the general insurance companies employees demand for their merger.

They would also attack the government for its "ambiguous" stand on the break up of Serbia and declaration of independence by Kosovo and other foreign policy issues.

Mr Dasgupta said they would also raise issues relating to violation of labour laws, non-implementation of the Minimum Wages Act, Food security and strengthening of the Public Distribution System among other things.

UNI KSA LS PK AS1126

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