New Delhi, Feb 29(UNI) The CPI(M) today said it wanted the Manmohan Singh government to complete its full five-year term amid reports that the ruling coalition could go in for Lok Sabha polls somewhere in October-November this year.
"We want this government to complete its full term to further contain the communal forces and give relief to the Aam Aadmi," CPI(M) senior leader and Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury told UNI.
Mr Yechury, the party parliamentary Group leader, observed that even as the government had come out with the" election budget "waiving off farmers' debt to the tune of Rs 60,000 crore and relief for the middle class by altering the income tax slabs among other things, it did not mean it should lose its due time till March next.
Mr Yechury's observation is in variance with CPI senior leader Gurudas Dasgupta's comment that" Finance Minsiter P Chidambram has done everything except that he has not announced the date of the polls." Earlier, at a press conference, where party Floor leaders in the Lok Sabha -- Basudeb Acharia and Rup Chand Pal were also present -- Mr Yechury had said, ''euphoria over holding of polls is not based on facts. But all possibilities are there. This is of course the last and the fifth budget of the FM''.
When asked whether his party was ready for the polls, he said: ''a political party is always ready for elections in a democratic setup." RSP leader and Rajya Sabha member Abani Roy said this is of course ''an election budget, but how the government will manage it is to be seen.'' The CPI(M) leader admitted that the tone and tenor of the Budget proposals were like the one which are always before the general elections.
''But it falls short of not only its own requirements but also its potential. We would have been happier, if the government had done much more for the aam aadmi," Mr Yechury admitted.
The Left leader welcomed the waiving off of the loans of the farmers' with two qualifications -- firstly, that the beneficiaries will only be those who took loans from the national banks, government institutions and the cooperatives; secondly, two-third of the victims of money lenders will benefit.
Besides, the proposals did not contain budgetary allocations for implementing the announcement." We learn that the government proposes to offload its equity in the public sectors, which will affect their health." CPI national Secretary and Rajya Sabha member D Raja said ''the one-time damage-control excercise would not salvage the farmers. They will again fall prey to the trap of the debt.'' For long-term solution, he suggested the reduction of interest rate from 7 to 4 per cent, regulations to control the money lenders and strengthening of the rural banks. But he deplored that the government had chosen to not fully meet the demands of the Left parties- like the imposition of long-term capital gains tax.
''It has announced only short term capital gains tax,'' he said.
The government had also not made adequate allocations for the public health and education sectors which were still not to the tune of 6 and 3 per cent of the GDP respectively.
''The disturbing point is that the government revenue collections stood at 18 per cent and capital expenditure at 9 per cent," Mr Raja said.
Besides, other most pressing issues of rising price rise, inflation, unemployment, social security for agricultural workers and other sections of the strong 370 million unorganised sector remained unaddressed in the Budget proposals, the CPI(M) leader added.
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