FDI in retail opposed

The Communist Party of India-Marxist activists turned into demons and ghosts for a while to demonstrate how the Foreign Direct Investment, price rise, power tariff hike and surcharges were hitting the common man below his belt.

They wore black aprons and masks to look like demons, here on Thursday and noted lawyer Sunkara Rajendra Prasad alleged that the Government had committed a blunder by allowing the FDI in retail sector. The Government did not heed to all political parties who were opposing it.

The price of non-subsidised LPG cylinder was steeply hiked. With the proposal to implement the cash transfer scheme, the Government plans to do away with the public distribution system, he predicted.

Party city unit secretary Ch. Babu Rao said that the ruling Congress had pushed the city into a debt trap. The leaders, who painted a rosy picture of the development, were now busy in mortgaging the assets of VMC. The MLAs and MP were showing least interest in bailing out the VMC, he said.

The State Government had not released the dues to VMC under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and non-plan grants, said Mr. Babu Rao. The Government has so far not released Rs.250 crore due to the VMC.

The Government was supposed to release Rs.160 crore under the JNNURM and Rs.60 crore under non-plan grants to the VMC. The Corporation employees had been asking the Government to pay their salaries through treasury. Had their demand been addressed, the VMC would have saved Rs.200 crore per annum on salaries, he said.

The fuel adjustment surcharge was a burden of Rs.16,000 crore on the people. The people were at the receiving end due to the nepotism in the Government and its policies in the power sector. The policies were benefiting the private companies like GMR and Lanco, he alleged.