|Land Acquisition Ordinance: Authoritarian Step
The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) strongly opposes the decision of the BJP government to amend the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act through the ordinance route to favour the interests of the corporates and real estate barons. The proposed amendment surrenders the genuine interests of the peasantry and land owners.
This decision is in continuation of the ordinances passed on coal privatisation and raising the FDI in insurance. By taking recourse to ordinance raj, the BJP-led NDA government is undermining the essence of parliamentary democracy and showing authoritarian tendencies.
The CPI(M) urges upon all democratic forces to come forward to oppose the anti-democratic and authoritarian acts of the Modi government.
One of the major demands of the 11 Central Trade Unions, which they presented to the new Prime Minister and Labour Minister is “Stoppage of Disinvestment in Central/State PSUs.”
The Former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh stated to the Central Trade Union Representatives that these demands are unexceptionable, but did not take any action to implement them. The new Labour Minister Shri Narendra Singh Tomar also heard the TU leaders with attention.
But what has happened. The Railways Minister Shri Sadananda Gowda has proposed in the Railways Budget to bring PPP and Privatisation in Railways. The Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley in his Budget Presentation has clearly stated that FDI will be increased from 26% to 49% in Insurance and Defence sector. It is also stated that the PSU Banks will be disinvested. Thus Disinvestment and Privatisation are going to be implemented in a big way, in an aggressive way.
This is the attitude of the NDA government to the working class. Naturally there will be stiff resistance from the workers and it will not be much delayed.
The Railway Budget presented by the NDA Government is nothing but a roadmap for PPP and Privatisation. Further, though no fares have been increased in the budget after the big increase days before, the chance for further increase is there connected with the fuel price increase. There is no mention about the filling up of the more than 3 lakh vacancies, especially in the areas of operation and connected with the safety arrangement.
There is clear indication for increased FDI and FII, which is also part of the privatisation process.
The opposition parties have strongly opposed the anti-people Railway budget. The parliament will see stormy scenes against the same.
The Modi Government has started its brutal attack on the people with the unprecedented increase in the Railway fares, both for the passengers and for freight. The increase in the passenger fare is 14.2% and in the freight charge 6.2%. Such increase has never been ordered in the past.
The argument that the increase in the fares have been proposed by the UPA Government does not hold water. Even decisions taken by the UPA government are being changed when it suits the NDA government. There was no compulsion on the NDA government to take anti-people decision which has started by the UPA government. The argument that there is a loss of Rs. 26,000 crore to Railways and hence the price rise is also difficult to digest. The priority for the government is to find out the reason for the loss and ensure that more efficient operation is carried out.
This decision will put the railway passengers in serious difficulty. The people who are already suffering due to the huge increase in the prices of essential commodities will have to face another price increase due to the increase in freight charges.
The decision to increase railway fares is to be strongly opposed and defeated. Unless this is done, more and more attacks will continue.
The Fukui District Court in Japan has denied permission to restart operation of nuclear reactors accepting the opposition of the people of the area. The Kansai Electric Power Company was preparing to restart the reactors, which have been stopped after the 2011 nuclear disaster at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
All of the 48 reactors in Japan in kept inactive after the 2011 disaster which resulted in huge damage and loss of lives. But the Government wants to restart, which the people are opposing.
The Bank Employees Unions have strongly opposed the move of the government to grant licences to start banks for the corporate houses. They alleged that the corporates will utilise the banks and the public money for their own benefits.
It is also to be noted that the government had to nationalise the private banks in the 1960s due to bad operating and bad servicing. When the elections have already been declared, the government is trying to issue the licences to favour the corporates.
It is completely wrong and undemocratic on the part of the government to move forward on this issue. The government should desist from this unfair move.
The UPA government in its last stage, even when the general elections have been declared, is on the move to disintegrate BSNL by forming more companies by its bifurcation. Some of the best revenue earning and strong components of BSNL are its towers, numbering 61,622 and the optical fibre cables of 6 lakh route km, which is the largest any telecom company has.
The government and the BSNL Board is contemplating to form separate companies for the tower business and the cable assets,on the plea that by sharing of the towers and the cables, funds can be raised.
But the sharp fact is that these are making in to separate companies is to weaken the BSNL on the one hand and to help the private companies to get the maximum benefits out of the towers and cables owned by the BSNL, without the burden of constructing the same.
Even if the towers and cables are to be shared for raising funds, why separate companies are formed? This can be done by BSNL itself and get the funds for its development and expansion.
But the revival of BSNL is not in the minds of the authorities. They on the one hand wants to disintegrate the PSU and on the other hand wants to favour the private companies.
The Forum of BSNL Unions/Associations strongly opposes the move of the government to bifurcate BSNL. The Forum is committed to organise sustained and mighty struggles against he same. Let us be prepared for the same.
It is reported that the Home Ministry has opposed the proposal for increasing of FDI from 74% to 100% on security concerns. It is fully correct. We have already expressed our strong protest and the BSNL workers have organised agitational programme on the issue.
But, however, the Cabinet may approve the increase, because they want foreign investment and any security concern will not stop them from acquiring FDI. Let us wait for the decision of the Cabinet. But in the meantime make maximum propaganda against this anti-people decision.
The Forum of BSNL Unions / Associations in its meeting held on 17th July has strongly protested against the decision of the government to increase the FDI in Telecom Sector from 74% to 100% and in defence from 26% to 49%. This decision is completely against the security concerns of the nation. The Indian telecom companies will be taken over by the foreign companies, since they can own up to 100% as per this decision. Pumping of so much foreign money in to the sector will jeopardise the future of BSNL and MTNL.
The Forum, therefore has decided to organise agitatioanl programmes against the increase in FDI. Lunch hour demonstrations will be organised on 25th July 2013. The employees will wear badges protesting against the FDI increase and demanding dropping of the unwise decision. The badge will have the following slogan: DROP DECISION TO INCREASE FDI IN TELECOM AND DEFENCE”
Forum will continue the struggle against the FDI increase.
In addition to the PLI filed against closure of telegram services in Madras High Court, another PLI is filed in the Madurai branch of the Madras High Court. A report on the same is reproduced below:
Madurai: Against the backdrop of BSNL discontinuing the 160-year-old telegraph service from 15 July, a PIL was today filed in the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court here seeking a stay on the order.
A Division Bench of Justice Paul N Vasanthakumar and Justice P Devadoss directed the central government advocate to get instructions and posted the case for hearing tomorrow.
Image for representation only. AFP
Seeking the court’s intervention to stay the order of BSNL senior GM discontinuing the service, the petitioner highlighted the various important roles played by telegram.
The petitioner, President of the Federation of Consumer and Service Organizations, M.Sekaran, rejected BSNL’s contention that there are no users of the telegram, alleging the service alone had faced step-motherly treatment.
If BSNL felt that it could not run the service, it could as well hand over the service to the postal department which was handling it efficiently from 1850 to 1990.
Robert Chandrakumar, another petitioner, also filed a PIL with the same prayers on the issue.
The petitioner wanted the telegraph service to be continued at affordable rates.
According to a recent circular issued by Shameem Akhtar, Sr General Manager (Telegraph Services) Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) Corporate office, New Delhi, the telegraph service is to be discontinued with effect from 15 July, 2013.