Unveils charter for political and social changes in the country

Unveiling a charter for political and social changes in the country, Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat said on Saturday that only the CPI (M) and the Left presented real alternative path of development and policies for the welfare of the people.

“In the present dismal scene in the country, only the CPI (M) and the Left present a real alternative — an alternative in terms of the path of development and in terms of policies,” he said at the opening session of the four-day extended Central Committee meeting here. The meeting would discuss how to carry forward the programme, strengthen Left unity and widen the support for the Left and democratic alternative.

Having rejected the economic policies of the UPA government, he said, the foremost task was to tackle the agrarian crisis where, instead of moving towards corporatisation, farmers should be assured of inputs at reasonable prices to make agriculture sustainable.

“This is also necessary to ensure reaching the goal of food security since farmers will need sufficient incentives to produce more.” In order to eliminate hunger and malnutrition, he said, the public distribution system should be made universal.

He stressed that the public sector should play a key role in the strategic sectors of the economy, including the financial sector, and labour intensive industries should be encouraged to create more employment.

Regulation of speculative capital flows, taxation of profits from such foreign institutional investment, steps to recover illegal money kept in tax havens and secret bank accounts and corporate and getting the affluent to pay more taxes were some steps suggested to increase revenue, which can than fund increased public spending on education, health and social welfare.

Listing out other priorities, he said, the Women's Reservation Bill should be passed in the Lok Sabha; the Ranganath Mishra Commission report for reservation for minorities in education and jobs should be implemented; and stringent steps should be taken to end all forms of caste discrimination, particularly untouchability.

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