CPI-M picks flaws in PM’s announcement
IMPHAL, 1st Jul: Communist Party of India (Marxist), Manipur State Committee has said that the announcement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday was totally inadequate to meet the crisis of survival and livelihood being faced by crores of citizens of the country.
The provision of 5 kg food grains and 1 kg pulse to each person per month is grossly inadequate to meet the survival needs of the people who have been deprived of their livelihood and food for over three months. 10 kg of food grains per individual per month for a period of six months is the minimum that needs to be ensured, a statement of CPI (M) Manipur unit issued by secretary Ksh Santa said.
According to the statement, at least 14 crore people lost their jobs during COVID-19 pandemic and government itself admitted that eight crore migrant workers were on the road for the last two months. Least required is a cash transfer of Rs 7,500 per month for six months to all families outside the tax bracket. The assured Rs 500 to all Jan Dhan accounts is a pittance and this mocks at people’s agonies, the statement added.
The claim to provide jobs to all returned workers under MNREGA is a fallacy. The provision of 100 days of work per year for an additional one crore people require an allocation of Rs 2.46 lakh crore. Budgetary allocations plus the announced measures during the lockdown amount to less than Rs 1.5 lakh crore together. Until gainful employment is realised, unemployment allowance must be provided across the country.
PM Modi claimed that nine crore farmers have benefitted with the direct cash transfer of Rs 2,000 each but the PM Kisan Yojana was announced on the eve of 2019 general elections. This was to provide three annual instalments of Rs 2,000 each to 14 crore peasants. This announcement is the delayed second tranche of this scheme. This is re-packaging of an earlier announcement and no additional relief. Further, instead of 14 crore peasants envisaged earlier, it is now only nine crore. Five crore peasants are, thus, deprived of even this measly relief, the CPI (M) statement maintained.
PM Modi claimed that India, under his government, has commendably combatted the COVID-19 pandemic. Even with one of the lowest testing rates in the world, the positive cases (fourth highest in the world, after USA, Brazil and Russia) and deaths are rising menacingly. At least now, the Central government must augment health facilities on a war-footing, ensure PPEs to all health workers and provide universal health care. The measures taken up by the Manipur government is inadequate to fight the pandemic, the CPI (M) said and demanded details of thousands of crores of rupees collected in the name of combating the pandemic by a private trust bearing PM’s name.
The party also demanded details of CM Relief Fund to ensure augmentation of public health facilities.