Kolkata, Jan 17 (PTI) The economic liberalisation policyhad led to a fast growth of billionaires and increased povertyamong farmers in the country, CPI-M general secretary PrakashKarat said today.
"The country has recorded the fastest growth ofbillionaires post economic liberalisation, numbering 54 till2009," Karat told a seminar in the Durgapur industrial town.
Speaking on ''Imperialism and globalisation:responsibility of the working class'', Karat said when the UPAcame to power in 2004, there were just six billionaires. "Thenumber has shot upto 54 till 2009 and the world''s richestpeople are living in India."
Karat blamed the liberalisation policy for the ''growingplight'' of millions of farmers. "It is amazing that thegovernment is apathetic to the growing rate of farmers''suicide, particularly in Andhra Pradesh," he observed.
While the poor farmers were undergoing hardship, thegovernment was preoccupied with "transferring resources in thename of development" and interested in inviting foreigncapital and disinvestment in public sector units, he said.
Karat also spoke of the crisis in the country''s retailbusiness due to the government''s stress on inviting foreigninvestments which led to undermining of the public sector.
"In the process of inviting foreign capitals, publicsectors are going to suffer from identity crisis. The UPAgovernment is fast losing control over the public sector whichwas once our pride," he said.
The CPI-M general secretary alleged that economicresources had been channelised only to a "handful few",particularly during the UPA rule.
Pointing out that globalisation has attracted scepticismworldwide, Karat said protest-demonstrations were reportedfrom the US and many European and Latin American countries.
"Globalisation is unsustainable and protest against ithas been gaining momentum worldwide," he said.
Karat also paid a glowing tribute to late CPI-M patriarchJyoti Basu on his first death anniversary, describing him as"a champion of the working class".