Activists of the Progressive Organisation for Women (POW) staged a demonstration in-front of the Prakasam Bhavan here on Wednesday in protest against cash transfer scheme, FDI in multibrand retail, cap on LPG refills and Fuel Surcharge Adjustment (FSA) imposed on power consumers.
The activists led by its Prakasam District Secretary B. Padma and Assistant Secretary V. Manjula came in a procession to the Church centre raising slogans in support of their demands including raise on the cap on cooking gas cylinders to at least 12 per year and urging the Government to bear Fuel Surcharge Adjustment (FSA) for poor consumers.
A man stood with both legs tied and cash bag on his hand to highlight the plight of the poor people struggling to make a living in the wake of soaring prices of essential commodities as the Union and State Governments competed with each other in imposing additional burden on the people and cut whatever little subsidies provided to them.
A poor family with one bulb used to get a bill for Rs. 100 earlier. But it was getting a bill for Rs. 400 to Rs. 500 after FSA burden, they said .
“The cash transfer scheme is nothing but an attempt to weaken the public distribution system (PDS) and cut subsidies in real terms over a period to the poor,”, CPI(ML) New Democracy District Secretary Ch.Venkateswarulu said while addressing the activists.
Given the high inflation, the cash transfer scheme would prove to be a death-knell to the PDS system and go against the interests of the poor people, Ms. Manjula felt.
Cash in the hands of the poor men addicted to liquor would deprive women and children of subsidised food items, Ms. Padma feared.
Its District Committee leaders Y.Susheela and D.Renuka demanded restoration of the universal PDS system as genuine poor people had been denied ration cards which had been knocked away by influential people in connivance with local officials.
The FDI in multibrand retail would deprive livelihood for crores of small traders seeking self-employment, they alleged.