--classstrugggle-flipmag CS Mar-2019 MKP - Page 21

It took seven decades for the ruling class parties to endorse the vulnerability of workers in unorganized sector and to promise to redress it. When the opposition parties made the unemployment issue as their election plank, the BJP delivered a political master stroke in the form of pension scheme. This is a mere election gimmick given the meager finances allocated to what the Finance Minister said “one of the largest pension scheme in the world within next five years”. This election-oriented budget gave sops to the upper middle class by raising the income tax slab to Rs.5 lakh, and tax concessions to real estate to promote sale of normal and affordable houses. These two measures were promised by the BJP in the election manifesto of 2014, but kept unfulfilled waiting to announce before the coming elections. That the fiscal deficit remains at 3.4 per cent despite the RS.1 trillion hand outs is presumptuous. The growth rate of GDP pegged at unrealistically high 11.5 per cent. The plans to draw more dividends from the Reserve Bank of India and public sector banks puts more stress on already stressed PSBs. On the revenue side, the revised estimates show Rs.1 trillion shortfalls in collections of GST. As there is no clear policy to revive the manufacturing sector, the collections of GST this year will not be increased as expected. Last year the Centre saved on disburse- ments of grants and loans to states to the tune of Rs.29,000 which may not be possible in the current year. It is certain that the fiscal deficit may go uncontrolled leaving no option to the incumbent govern- ment than resorting to inflationary measures. This pre-election budget of Modi is deceitful and based on ™ unrealistic assumptions. Feb, March - 2019 Struggle for Land in Odisha On Feb 1 st , 2019, more than 1000 people from the Sipasa- rubali Mouza of Puri district, Odisha led by Upakulia Jami-o- Jangal Suraksha Samithi (UJJSS) took out a rally in Puri town in support of their right over the land. People from 20 villages have participated in the rally. A three hour long meeting was held in front of the District Collector’s office. The people have declared their resolve not to part with the land under their possession for the last nine years. They urged the Govt. to scrap forthwith the Multinational Corporate spon- sored Shamuka Hotel project and accept the just right of local people on the said land. Com. Batakrishna Swain the Convenor of UJJSS has presided over the meeting. Com.Srikant Mohanty, Secretary, CMS, Odisha, Com. Brahmananda Mallik, Com. Bhimsen, Com. Sharat Rayguru, Com.Tapan Upadhyaya, Com. Reports: Krushna Rout, Com.Mohan Naidu, Com. Surendra Tapasy, Com.Pratap Chinar, Lodnath Nayak and others spoke. They demanded that the govt. must accept the just and democratic rights of the people instead of making the people to helplessly wait for doles from the rulers. They criticized the govt. for hanging on to the idea of giving away the people’s land to a Hotel project despite a decade long struggle of the local people and even after knowing well how its proposed move to install a project in this coastal area can destroy the jangal and thus dismantle the natural protection from cyclones and high tides and spells havoc in the people lives and livelihoods. The Organizers of the peoples’ movement urged all the parties to continue to extend their support and solidarity to the just struggle of the Sipasarubali people for land. ™ In Solidarity with Wokers Strike In response to the call of AIFTU (New) the workers and peasants were moved into solidarity actions in Bihar, Odisha and other states in support of the All India Workers Strike on 8-9 January 2019. Bihar The AIFTU (New) and Bihar General Mazdoor Union jointly took out a procession in Patna on 7 th Jan 2019. Nearly 400 people comprising workers, poor peasants and other toiling people coming from different districts of Bihar like Rohtas, Kaimur,Muzaffarpur, West Champaran, Samastipur, Vaishali and Patna marched along the main thoroughfare surrounding Gandhi Maidan. They chanted slogans in support of the demands of workers strike. The demonstration has turned into a mass meeting near Bhagat Singh Chowk, Gandhi Maidan. Com.Arvind Sinha, the General Secretary of AIFTU(N), Com.Ashok Baitha, co-Convenor of Bihar General Mazdoor Union; Com.Azmulla Ansari, leader of Auto Riksha Chalak Union, Sahebganj, Muzaffarpur have addressed the meeting. In addition to them, Com.Satish Kumar of Communist Centre of India, Com. Jayaprakash of Shramik Mukti Sanghatan, Com. Ram Lakhan of Bihar Nirman Asanghatith Shramik Union also spoke. Com. Nand Kishore Singh of Bihar General Mazdoor Union has presided over the meeting. The speakers supported the all India Workers Strike and appealed to the working class to get organized to fight for their class interests. contd. on page 23 21