NATIONAL

Left parties to meet next week

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: With the second part of the Budget session of Parliament slated to recommence on Tuesday, the four Left parties have decided to meet on Wednesday to finalise their stand with regard to issues, including the Pension Fund and Development Authority Bill, currently with the Parliamentary Standing Committee.

This would be the first meeting of the four Left parties, the Communist Party of India, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the All-India Forward Bloc and the Revolutionary Socialist Party, after Prakash Karat took over as the General Secretary of the CPI (M).

Mr. Karat told The Hindu , that the CPI (M)'s opposition to the Bill remained. The parties had conveyed their opposition to the Bill and had staged a walkout when the Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, had on March 21moved the Bill that seeks to replace the ordinance.

This was the first registered act of protest by the Left parties, which are supporting the United Progressive Alliance Government from outside.

Unlike the Patents (Amendment) Act, which the parties supporte0d after moving several amendments, they had not moved any amendments since they were opposed to the idea of privatising pension funds.

One of the grounds for opposition includes the move to allow the fund manager to invest in stock markets.

They point out the manner in which the Rs.100-crore fund of seafarers was wiped out.

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