CPI(M) demands structured Lok Sabha debate on Plan document

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New Delhi, Feb 27 (UNI) The CPI(M) today demanded a structured debate in the Lok Sabha on the eleventh Plan document, price rise, fuel hike, national minerals policy and reduction of wheat and rice quota for West Bengal and Kerala and asserted that it would raise all these issues during the ongoing Budget session of Parliament.

The document approved by the National Development Council outlines the policies during the next five years.

The Left party also contested the facts and figures of the Railway Budget saying that Rs 25,000 crores surplus as claimed by Railway Minister Lalu Prasad was not true.

At a press conference, CPI(M) leaders Basudeb Acharia and Mohammad Salim said they would ask the government why it had failed to check price rise despite Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's assurance on this on the floor of the House.

On reduction of wheat and rice quota for West Bengal and Kerala in the Public Distribution system (PDS), they said 82 per cent reduction had been made in case of rice and over 50 per cent in wheat.

On fuel hike, they said the government had ignored their suggestions of reducing duty and withdrawal of cess on petroleum products.'' We will also raise the issue of price rise which could not be done during the last session wherein it was listed on the business agenda.'' Demanding a structured debate on the national minerals policy, they said the move was necessary as'' our scarce minerals are being plundered and looted.'' '' If we go on exporting our iron ore at this speed, we will exhaust this scarce mineral in another 20 years or so,'' they said, adding that the government target of producing 112 million tonnes of steel in the 11th Five Year Plan would not be possible to achieve.

The government should impose immediate ban on the export of iron ore, they added.

On the Rs 25,000 crores surplus shown in the Railway Budget, Mr Acharia emphasised that the amount included Rs 5000 crore as lease charge at the rate of 3 per cent and the dividends to the tune of Rs 4500 crore.

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