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Step up public investment to generate employment: Left tells Centre

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on September 20, 2019 Published on September 20, 2019

CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury(File Photo)   -  THE HINDU

A joint convention of the five Left parties here on Friday demanded that the Centre increase public investment to generate employment and asked the Centre to provide unemployment allowance to the youth until they get jobs.

The parties said a minimum wage of ₹18,000 should be ensured. “The government must ensure the provision of monthly living wages for a large number of workers who have been terminated,” they said.

Echoing the sentiments of trade unions, the parties said privatisation of the public sector must be stopped. “Withdraw 100 per cent FDI in coal and defence sectors,” they demanded. The Left parties have decided to hold protests to push for the implementation of these demands from October 10 to 16. 

Addressing the convention, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said India has become one of the most unequal societies in the world. 

“It is a matter of shame,” he said and urged the Centre to increase the public investment so that the unemployment can be addressed. “The condition of common people has worsened under the Narendra Modi regime. But the total assets of big corporate houses such as that of the Ambanis and the Adanis have increased manifold in the last five years,” he alleged. 

His CPI counterpart D Raja said mob lynchings and attacks against Dalits, women and minorities have created a civil war-like situation in the country. He said Niti Ayog, a think-tank, has become a polluted tank. “Their recommendations are against national interest,” he said and criticised the Centre for “massive and reckless” disinvestment. 

The convention demanded that allocations for MGNREGA must be enhanced to ensure the payment of past dues and for providing a minimum of 200 days of work at the designated minimum wage. 

“A one-time loan waiver to the farmers to meet agrarian distress, announce and implement the minimum support price — one-and-half times higher than the input costs, and increase minimum monthly old age/widow pension to ₹3,000,” they demanded. 

Purchasing power

The resolution said the Indian economy is clearly suffering from a drastic shrinkage of domestic demand because people lack purchasing power. “Unless people’s purchasing power increases, domestic demand cannot grow. In turn, the stagnation and decline in the manufacturing and the industrial sector will further exacerbate. This can only be done by massive public investments in infrastructure, generation of new jobs and increasing people’s purchasing power,” it said.

Published on September 20, 2019
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