Terming the decisions of the Union Cabinet on the insurance sector, pension and the Forward Contract Regulation Act (Amendment) Bill and others as "very retrograde", CPI National Secretary D Raja said "It is clear that the Congress- led government is tilting drastically towards right-wing positions as far as economic policies are concerned. It is aggressively pursuing neo-liberal policies."
Regarding insurance sector, he said major foreign private insurance companies had failed in the US and Europe, and a firm like AIG had to be bailed out by the US government. "Why should these companies be allowed to loot our profitable public sector insurance companies and therefore our people."
On the proposal to invest pension funds in the stock market, Raja said, "The life-long savings of the workers are being subjected to gamble and risk to benefit fringe capitalists to make huge profits."
Castigating the government for having "no social responsibility", he said while the government was not contributing anything to the pension funds, which were self- supporting, "it has decided to let these hard-earned funds to be used by foreign capital".
While the Left parties would fight these measures in Parliament and outside, other political parties should also join this struggle, the CPI leader said.
CPI(M) Politburo member Brinda Karat said the government had "no right" to bring in any of these 'anti-people' policies
CPI MP and AITUC General Secretary Gurudas Dasgupta said, "In the name of economic reforms, the government is dangerously moving ahead to liberalise and privatise to enable the corporates to tighten their hold on the economy, to rollout red carpet to FDI at the great peril of the people of the country."
Coming close on the heels of increasing the price of diesel, LPG and allowing FDI in the retail trade, the government increased the price of electricity, coal and railways fare, he said.
"Now the government is going to allow FDI in insurance and divert part of the savings of the working people in PF and pension to speculative transactions in the stock market and further seeking to strengthen and expand forward trading business, even allowing investment by banks," he said.
"Nobody has a right in the country to divert employees' and workers' savings to stock market for earning speculative gain, so the government's decision to strengthen forward trading shall also be disastrous," the CPI leader said.
These measures have made it clear that the UPA government is "a rightist government fully dedicated to the interests of the corporates and working at the behest of the foreign multinationals", he said, adding that "broadest resistance" would be built against this "disastrous move".