Special Correspondent

To discuss airport privatisation, pension funds and FDI in retail trade

Overall direction of UPA not in favour of workers and poor. Super-rich indulge in obscene levels of conspicuous consumption. Left asks Government to hike tax-GDP ratio. Calls for change in direction of economic policies

NEW DELHI: With the UPA suggesting disinvestment in profit-making non-navratna public sector undertakings, the Left parties would meet here on Monday to take a view on their alternative proposals to raise funds for social sector schemes.

Having heard the Finance Minister P. Chidamabaram on his proposal to carry out disinvestment, the CPI (M) general secretary Prakash Karat said on Saturday that alternative methods to raise resources would be submitted by the Left parties in due course. The broad understanding was that the Government could raise the tax-GDP ratio, which the Left feel was brought down.

The central committee of the CPI (M)at its recent meeting had said that the overall direction of the UPA Government was not in favour of working people and the poor and called for a change in the direction of economic policies.

Suggesting that the Government taxes luxury consumption, the party said corporate profits have risen sharply in the recent period and the super-rich in the country were indulging in obscene levels of conspicuous consumption.

It also asked the Government to take steps to increase the tax-GDP ratio, which alone could generate resources for rural development and social sector spending . The CPI (M) said categorically that this should be the path to follow rather than disinvestment of shares in profitable public sector enterprises.

The Monday meeting could lead to finalisation of the alternative set of proposals by the Left parties.

This exercise would also be ahead of the next round of UPA-Left coordination meeting that could be held early January.

Besides this, the Left parties would also discuss issues like airport privatisation, pension funds and foreign direct investment in retail trade.