The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Friday called for nationwide protests against rise in prices of essential commodities, saying government policies were leading big market players and hoarders to make huge profits.

As a result of the government’s policies, “some big trading companies as well as hoarders are making huge profits while the income of common people is being looted through high prices,” the party’s Polit Bureau said in a statement here.

Observing that the UPA-2 regime has been “marked by its utter failure to control price rise”, it said the “contradictory statements of different ministries regarding steps to control the price of onions” like whether official agencies should import onions or not, were benefiting big market players.

As subsidies were given to big sugar exporting firms, the government also gave subsidies to onion exporting trading companies to export onions from September, thus “deliberately causing a shortage”, it said, adding it was now subsidising imports by private traders by removing all duties. The value of onion exports grew by 26 per cent over the previous year.

Noting that deregulation of petrol prices had led to “a cascading impact” on the prices of other commodities, CPI(M) said the government “still refuses to ban” future trade in essential commodities including wheat and potatoes and was now considering lifting the ban on future trade in sugar.

The party condemned these policies of the Government as it has led to “unbearable burden” on the people and calls for protests against price rise across the country.

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