Another most alarming feature is the unabated rise in the prices of the essential commodities and the high inflation, which has reached 11.05%, the highest in 13 years. The government does not exhibit any political will to control the prices and provide relief to the common people. It has taken a few monetary and fiscal measures to regulate money supply and imposed some restrictions on the export of a few commodities and claims to have taken steps to contain inflation, which apparently, have not yielded any results.
Fred Magdoff writes in The Monthly Review about the political economy and ecology of Biofuels.Courtesy: Monthly Review
INTERVIEW WITH Prakash Karat, courtesy INN.
'Left Will Vote Against Govt'
The Left parties will vote against the Manmohan Singh government in the vote of confidence because of its betrayal of national interests, asserted CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat. The Left will continue working to ensure that the India-US nuclear deal does not get operationalised during the tenure of this government. Charging the Congress of failing to check communal forces, he said the CPI(M) and Left parties will continue to combat the Hindutva and communal forces.
The Left parties have issued the following statement:
On Withdrawal of Support to the UPA Government
The Left Parties have withdrawn support to the UPA Government. The UPA Government came into existence in 2004 with the support of the Left parties on the basis of its Common Minimum Programme. The aim was to fight the communal forces and undo the damage they had done to the secular polity of India in their years in office. This required a set of interlinked policies to bring relief to the people, to protect India's integrity and to pursue an independent foreign policy. By going ahead with the deal at a time when there is the crushing burden of price-rise and galloping inflation, the Manmohan Singh Government has clearly shown that it is more concerned about fulfilling its commitment to the Bush administration rather than meeting its commitment to the people of India.
Over 3000 activists and supporters of Labour Party Pakistan took part in rally at Lahore against the ongoing neo liberal policies of present Pakistan People's Party government. They were chanting slogans against the price hike, American imperialism and demanded an immediate end of policies dictated by imperialist companies and financial institutions.
The price of oil should be seen as part of a tax-subsidy framework, serving as part tax when global prices are low and part subsidy when they are high. If the government is willing to compensate oil companies with resources mobilised through taxes on those who can afford to pay, rather than through price increases that burden the rich and the poor alike, prices can be held constant until such time that the inflationary situation is brought under control. C.P.CHANDRASEKHAR writes in the Frontline. Cartoons, courtesy The Hindu and Times of India newspapers.
The task of combating inflation is wide-ranging. In particular, it requires reversing many elements of liberalisation resorted to in recent years; CP Chandrashekar says in The Hindu.
Inflation, an almost forgotten economic problem till recently, now hogs headlines. The issue shot to prominence when the headline inflation rate, as measured by annual point-to-point increases in the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), rose from less than four per cent at the end of December 2007 to more than seven per cent in the second half of March 2008.