Left parties announced a nationwide protest against the rising prices of essential commodities and unemployment starting from May 25 and concluding on May 31.
In an official joint statement released on Saturday, the Left parties directed all their units across the nation to coordinate this "united and concerted nationwide struggle" against the rising inflation and joblessness.
"Unabated galloping price rise is imposing unprecedented burdens on the people. Crores are suffering and are pushed into deeper poverty with growing hunger pangs. Coming on top of unprecedented and growing levels of unemployment, this is compounding people's miseries," the statement read.
Everything Got More Expensive
The signatory parties stressed that over the last year, the prices of petroleum products have risen by 70 per cent, cooking oil by 23 per cent, vegetables by 20 per cent, and cereals by 8 per cent.
They also noted that wheat, the staple diet of crores of Indians, is seeing a price hike of over 14 per cent, making it unaffordable. Also, the wheat procurement has declined, as this year, the central government procured less than half of last year, and in 2022, procurement will not surpass 20 Metric Tonnes (MT) as against the target of 44.4 MT.
"The continuous hike in prices of petroleum products and cooking gas cylinders and the acute shortage of wheat is propelling this overall inflation. The reported Coal shortages are pushing up the cost of electricity," the statement read.
Demands Of Left Parties
The parties have demanded that the central government immediately withdraw all cess/surcharges on all petroleum products and roll back price hikes, particularly cooking gas cylinders.
They have insisted on restoring the wheat supplies through the Public Distribution System (PDS) and emphasised strengthening the PDS by distributing all essential commodities, particularly pulses and edible oil, to check this price rise.
They have also recommended increasing direct cash transfer to Rs 7,500 per month to all non-income tax-paying families. Also, required to increase MGNREGS allocation.
The parties advised for legislation of a central scheme for unemployment allowance and an unemployment guarantee scheme for urban areas. Further, they have suggested filling up all vacant posts.
Signatories Of The Official Statement
The official statement was signed by Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist); Dipankar Bhattacharya, General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation; D Raja, General Secretary of the Communist Party of India; Debabrata Biswas, General Secretary of the All India Forward Bloc; and Manoj Bhattacharya, General Secretary of the Revolutionary Socialist Party.