Left dare PM, FM to insulate Indian economy

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New Delhi, Oct 1 (UNI) Claiming that financial crisis in the western world will adversely impact Indian economy, Left parties today asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh if he will take measures necessary to insulate the country from the U S meltdown.

Urgent steps are required to remedy the situation as the impact is already being felt by Indian banks such as ICICI, SBI and Bank of India, the Left leaders said.

Questioning the contention of Finance Minister P Chidambaram that the US financial crisis will not impact the Indian economy, top leaders of CPI(M), CPI and Forward Bloc said the slump in the stock market has already belied his claim.

Senior Marxist leader Rup Chand Pal said adverse impact is already visible with the flight of money by foreign institutional investors(FIIs) from the stock market."There is also a liquidity crunch which will affect our industry and banking system".

He said the country's exports, particularly of software, as also outsourcing work to Indian companies have already started feeling the heat. This could also slacken employment in information technology sector, he added.

"It is time to rethink by pro-liberalisation brigade in the country as the full impact of US crisis has yet to unfold," Mr Pal told UNI.

Mocking at the capitalist model of development,CPI deputy general secretary S Sudhakar Reddy and national secretary Shamim Faizi said it has to be revised now with the credo of "profits are private but losses are socalised" in view of the corporate American seeking huge doles and bailouts from the U S administration.

Taking a dig at Mr Chidambaram, the communist leaders said admission by SBI and Bank of India that they had to write off their investment with Lehman Brothers flies in the face of the Finance Minister who had claimed that the American crisis will have no impact on the country's financial system.

Lehman Brothers, the fourth largest U S investment bank, has gone bust and filed for bankruptcy.

They said they have been proved right by strongly opposing the UPA government's agenda of so-called reforms in the financial sector. Yet the government, after having been liberated from "our slavery", went ahead and handed over millions of rupees of Employees Provident Fund to four private entities, with the fourth added at the last minute to appease its new-found partner.

They asked the government to come clean on its contradictory stand on the impact of the U S crisis on Indian economy; with the Prime Minister admitting it will affect the developing countries, including India, but the Finance Minister still holding an assurance to the contrary on its impact on the Indian stock market.

Forward Bloc national secretary G Devrajan said Indian manufacturing is surviving because of the strong foundation of the nation's public sector. It is a lesson for those who have been arguing for privatising and further liberalising the economy at the cost of taxpayers money, he added.

UNI KSA-SAA RP GC1708

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