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Ban future trading to check inflation: Pandhe

Written by: Staff
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Bhopal, July 5 (UNI) The Communist Party of India (Marxist) today squarely blamed the UPA government's economic policies responsible for inflation and sought a total ban on future trading to curb price rise and constitution of Price Index Review Committee saying the spiralling prices did not reflect in the consumer price index.

''Wrong economic policies caused unprecedented rise in the prices of essential commodities, including foodgrains, petroleum products and construction materials'', CPI(M) Politburo member M K Pandhe told newspersons here and charged that Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram was encouraging profiteering through future trading.

Alleging that the UPA government had ignored the common minimum programme, Dr Pandhe said the public distribution system had collapsed due to wrong policies persued by Mr Chidambaram. Foodgrain quota to different states had been reduced by half during the two year UPA rule depriving the common people of essential commodities at fair price, he added.

Taking exception to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi convening a meeting of chief ministers of Congress-ruled states to devise an action plan to check price rise, the CPI(M) leader said unless the Centre changed its economic policies, inflation could not be checked.

Criticising the frequent hike in the petroleum price, he said the Centre had imposed Rs 13,000 crore additional taxation on petroleum products raising the taxes from Rs 64,000 crore to Rs 77,000 crore in the past two years.

Observing that the package announced by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh for the Maharashtra farmers was insufficient, Dr Pandhe said since the package provided for only waiving of interest, it would not help in ending suicide by debt-ridden farmers.

Alleging that the UPA government was ignoring the Common Minimum Programme, he lamented that the Centre had not yet acted on 19 letters given by Left parties on various issues and economic policies and suggesting alternate methods.

The Left parties will rap the UPA government during the Parliament's monsoon session for its lapses in not clearing the Women Reservation Bill, Unorganised Labour Bill and Scheduled Tribe (Recognition of Forest Right) Bill, he added.

Referring to the rural employment guarantee scheme, Dr Pandhe said complaints had been received about non-payment of minimum wages to workers and engaging contractors for EGS works. He suggested that infrastructure like school, hospital and panchayat buildings should be develped under EGS.

UNI AG-SP VD DS1425

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