CHENNAI: Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury on Friday urged the government to make public investment, instead of giving thousands of crores as tax concession to the corporate sector, to generate jobs.
At a public meeting to mark the culmination of the five-day campaign highlighting the alternative policies of the Left, he said that a two per cent reduction in excise duties and service tax would not make any difference to people, as they did not have the money to buy.
In the organised sector, five million jobs had been lost and one crore jobs in the unorganised sector that depended on the organised sector had also been affected.
Reacting to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s announcement that India was least affected by the global economic recession, he said it was the pressure of the Left parties which prevented the UPA government from going ahead with capital account convertibility and stopped foreign banks from buying out Indian banks.
On the Sri Lankan issue, he said that so long as the Left was supporting the Congress-led UPA government, it ensured that no weapons were supplied to Sri Lanka, which could be used against the Tamils.
Making a distinction between the LTTE and the Tamil people, he said mixing up the two issues caused misery. The problem could be solved only by giving the maximum autonomy to the north and east regions of Sri Lanka within a united Sri Lanka.
Asked about the AIADMK general secretary, Jayalalithaa’s appeal to the Congress asking it to break its ties with the DMK, he said: “We are going by the understanding arrived at between our general secretary and Ms. Jayalalithaa. We believe that continues to stand.”
CPI(M) MP T.K. Rangarajan said the Tamil Nadu government had “picked the pocket” of the poor through the TASMAC liquor shops and returned the money in the form of the Re. 1 a kg rice scheme.