IMPHAL: The CPI (M), State Unit has asserted that the announcements made by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday are totally inadequate to meet the crisis of survival and livelihood being faced by crores of people.
The provision of 5 kilograms of foodgrains and 1 kg of pulses is grossly inadequate to meet the survival needs of the people who have been deprived of their livelihood or food for over three months and instead 10 kg of foodgrain per individual per month for a period of six months is the minimum that needs to be ensured, it stated.
In a press release issued by state secretary Ksh Santa, the CPI (M) maintained that at least 14 crore people have lost their jobs after the imposition of lockdown over the Covid-19 pandemic. Government itself admits that eight crore migrant workers were on the road for the last two months. The minimum requirement is a cash transfer of Rs. 7,500 per month for six months to all families outside the tax bracket. The announced Rs. 500 to all Jan Dhan accounts is a pittance. This mocks at people’s agonies, the noted claimed.
The party also alleged that the claim to provide jobs to all returned workers under MNREGA is a fallacy. The provision of 100 days work per year for an additional one crore people requires an allocation of Rs. 2.46 lakh crores. Budgetary allocations plus the announced measures during the lockdown amount to less than Rs. 1.5 lakh crore together. Until gainful employment is realised, unemployment allowance must be provided across the country, demanded the CPI (M).
PM Modi claimed that nine crore farmers have benefitted with the direct cash transfer of Rs. 2,000. The PM Kisan Yojana was announced on the eve of 2019 general elections. This was to provide three annual instalments of Rs. 2,000 each to 14 crore peasants. This announcement is the delayed second tranche of this scheme. This is re-packaging of an earlier announcement and no additional relief. Further, instead of 14 crore peasants envisaged earlier, it is now only nine crore. Five crore peasants are, thus, deprived of even this measly relief.
The party also contested the PM Modi claim that India, under his government, has commendably combated the Covid-19 pandemic. Even with one of the lowest testing rates in the world, the positive cases (fourth highest in the world, after USA, Brazil and Russia) and deaths are rising menacingly. At least now the Central government must augment health facilities on a war-footing, ensure PPEs to all health workers and provide universal health care. The measures taken up by the Manipur Government is inadequate to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, stated the CPI (M) release.
On the other hand, the Secretariat of the CPI (M) Manipur State Committee has made a demand that the thousands of crores of rupees collected in the name of combating the pandemic, by a private trust bearing PM’s name and CM Relief Fund must be released in detail immediately to ensure augmentation of public health facilities, cash transfer of Rs. 7,500 to all families outside the tax bracket per month for six months and provision of 10 kg of free foodgrain to every needy person per month for the next six months.