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Left to focus on price rise in Parliament

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Special Correspondent

Reduction in petrol and diesel prices also to be sought

  • Agrarian crisis, SEZs to be raised
  • Discussion to be sought on job scheme

    NEW DELHI: The Left parties have decided to focus on price rise during the winter session of Parliament. They will also demand a reduction in petrol and diesel prices following a fall in the price of international crude.

    On Wednesday, the opening day of the winter session, the parties identified the issues to be raised in the first half. The subjects include the agrarian crisis and a discussion on the same on the basis of the M.S. Swaminathan Committee on agriculture reforms.

    Connected with this was the demand to review the policy on Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and if necessary "amend the rules and the Act," Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury said at a press conference here.

    The Left parties had sent a note to the Government on the areas that needed to be looked into, including land use, compensation to farmers, and tax breaks.

    "The Government has to take a re-look at the tax concessions, as nobody will have to pay taxes in the SEZs. For instance, the builders will not have to pay taxes on materials purchased for construction, while there will be no cess on petrol or education within a SEZ," Mr. Yechury said.

    The Left parties would demand a full-fledged discussion on the National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme and its implementation.

    They want the Government to spell out the definition of "below the poverty line," as different States had different standards.

    Nuclear deal

    Mr. Yechury said that as the U.S. Senate had passed the nuclear deal, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should reassure the House that the assurances given by him in the Rajya Sabha would be complied with.

    The Left parties would seek a discussion on the Justice Rajinder Sachar Committee report on the status of minorities too.

    It is likely to be placed in Parliament on November 27.

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