Eco survey paints frightening picture for 'aam aadmi': Left

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New Delhi, Feb 28 (UNI) In sharp contrast to the ''rosy boom'' as claimed by the government in terms of Economic Survey, the Left parties today foresaw a ''gloomy'' picture on the price front and further stagnation of agriculture sector and food security for the ''aam Aadmi''.

Quoting extensively from the Economic Survey which was presented in Parliament today, the top leaders of the CPI and CPI(M) said nothing positive regarding management of inflation, checking prices of essential commodities and salvaging the majority of farmers from the present distress could be seen in the survey barring one or two government schemes.

While CPI leaders--Gurudas Dasgupta and D Raja--told a press conference that the statistics given in the survey showed as to how industrial growth had declined from 11.6 per cent to 9.2 per cent, agriculture production was expected to decrease from its target of 225 million metric tonne to 219, CPI(M) senior leader Rup Chand Pal told UNI that even on the price front, the government had admitted a ''serious situation''.

The Left leaders maintained that this had happened because of the ''wrong policies'' the Manmohan Singh government had adopted.

On weakening of the Public Distribution Sytem, Mr Dasgupta and Mr Pal said the government was doing it in the name of private-public partnerhsip. ''On the other hand, the government has proposed the raising of working hours from 48 to 60 hours daily which is quite contrary to the committment of a welfare state to its workforce,'' they added.

Mr Dasgupta also presented figures to drive home the point that while there has been ''very less'' progress in terms of national savings, the production of steel had drastically declined from 11.2 to 6.5 per cent. ''Cement production has also come dwon from 10.8 per cent to 7.4. There has been a marginal increase in the collection of direct taxes by just 0.1 per cent and indirect taxes by just 0.1 per cent.'' The CPI leader pointed out that even the per capita income had declined from 8.1 to 7.2 per cent and consumption from 5.6 to 5.3 per cent. The spending on clothing and footwear had come down from 12 to 3.7 per cent.

On the ruthless pursuit of economic reforms, the Left leaders said it had resulted into ''unusual concentration'' of the weaker sections with only 535 families having amassed assets totalling over Rs 100 crores.


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