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The Welfare Party of India asked the Government to take effective steps to control inflation and price rise that adversely affect the common men. The intermittent increase in prices of petroleum products due to the de-regulation policy that has given power to fix the prices to petroleum companies accelerates inflation and price rise. The 2-day Federal Working Committee meeting of the party held at Hyderabad, presided over by President Mr. Mujtaba Farooq, asked the Government to initiate regulatory measures and take back the power to fix oil price from petroleum companies.
The resolution on the economic scenario passed at the meeting came down heavily on the Central government for ignoring the Aam Admi. In the union budget, the outlay for social sector slumped from earlier 2.06% to 1.96% whereas by forgoing under Customs Revenue head, the corporate and rich classes have been benefitted Rs 48,000 crore.
The resolution particularly dealt in detail the pathetic agricultural sector of the country. The wrong policies pursued by the government such as defective Minimum Support Policy, monopoly of MNCs over fertilisers, seed and pesticide supply, corporate farming, unregulated import of agricultural commodities have worsened the crisis. Hence the party demanded to adopt a peasant-friendly comprehensive agricultural policy.
Besides the misguided farm policy, the rising speculation in food and related commodity markets, the resolution pointed out, also has been a major factor for burgeoning inflation and price rise. The party demanded, in strong words, stringent restrictions on the entry of middlemen in the commodity market and total ban on future trading to check inflation and save the agricultural sector. It also asked for allocating specific proportion to agricultural sector from all the power generated.
The resolution opposed the Government move to allow Foreign Direct Investment in retail trade, which will give a free hand for big multinational companies over the prices of essential commodities and that will throw out millions of small retail vendors from this scene.
The party demanded an overall shift to the economic policy, targeting at increased productivity in traditional sectors of Indian economy that would benefit the vast rural population, and at implementing a just and humane distribution of the fruits of development and growth.
Though the Government appointed Sachar Committee which in its report brought out the extremely pathetic condition of the Muslim community, the party expressed its disappointment over the failure of the government in accepting any substantial recommendation of the Committee and asked to increase a) the budgetary allocation to Muslim specific programmes, and b) to put them under Special Muslim Component Sub-Plan as in the case of SC and ST Component Plan so that the allocation cannot be diverted or misused. Moreover this will enable earmarking of proportionate funds in different schemes for the specific Muslim targets.
The resolution on foreign policy expressed its anguish and dismay over the tilt towards the US and its infamous ally, Israel. The international situation is ripe for India, with strong civilizational and historical resources, an opportunity to play the role for an alternative leader as it had done in the past in leading the non-aligned movement.
It asked India to strengthen the BRIC block and unite the Third World countries to ensure multi-polarity and balance of global power. Asking to play an important role in the Middle East, the resolution urged the Government to support the people’s struggle for democracy and to oppose the violent foreign intervention of NATO forces.
It strongly asked the government to come forward to support the rising global demand and opinion that Israel must go back to the 1967 border and leave the land it seized, allow the refugees to return and give the people of Palestine their legitimate right to form a sovereign state.
The resolution specifically asked the government to have a better bilateral relationship with all neighbouring countries and to strengthen regional forums like the SAARC. The party reminded the government of its added responsibility as the big brother.
On the proposed Food Security Bill, the party supported the NAC recommendation for a strong and universalised Public Distribution System but criticised the Planning Commission’s infamous poverty line definition of Rs 15/ plus a day as rich.
Commenting on the 12th Five-Year Plan, the Welfare Party reminded the UPA of its commitment of spending 6% of the GDP on education and 3% on Health and lamented that after seven years of UPA rule, the promise has been withering away.
While lauding the emphasis of the 12th Planning Commission to boost the energy sector, the resolution strongly warned the Commission for sacrificing the sovereignty and dignity of the nation by its over dependence on nuclear energy. Instead the Commission should promote and fully utilise conventional sources and seek for non-nuclear alternative avenues. The Commission must not merely focus on growth figures but must ensure the benefit of growth distributed in a just and equitable manner so that dignified levels of different Human Development indices are achieved.
Other than the President, 28 out of 31 Working Committee members including Mr. Ilyas Azmi, Mrs. Lalitha Naik, Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan, Abdul Wahab Khilji (all vice-presidents), Dr. S.Q.R. Ilyas and P.C. Hamza (General Secretaries), Akhtar Hussein Akhtar and Adv. Javed Rasheed Aamir (Secretaries) attended the meeting.
It was decided to complete the launching of the state chapters of the party in all states by the end of September. To widen the reach of the party to more segments of the society, convenors were appointed to organise and look after various wings like women, youth, farmers, professionals, artisans and weavers, Adivasis, Dalits, religious heads, research and study, etc.
Members attending the first Working Committee meeting at Hyderabad took active part in discussion on current socio-political situation of the country and took a strong oath to introduce and strengthen the party in all corners of the nation.