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CPI (M) slams government over VAT increase

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  16 July 2016 12:00 AM GMT

Correspondent

Silchar, July 15: CPM has fired its ammo against the Centre and the State for hiking VAT on 127 items and adding to the woes of common people. In order to vent out their ire, the CPM leaders and workers held a protest demonstration before the office of the Deputy Commissioner, Cachar today. Their protest is also against the auctioning of 15 oil fields in Assam, improper implementation of Food Security Act and discrepancy in the distribution of APL cards. The BJP governments at both the centre and state have been facing the ire of many political parties, local organizations and people. Only a few days ago, Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) had organized a similar demonstration against the government’s policies.

The members and workers of CPI (M) spoke on various policies of the government which they deemed as ‘fallacious’. Food is indispensable for living and as such, any discrepancy in distribution of food cannot be tolerated. It is among a number of demands. Supriyo Bhattacharjee, general secretary, Centre for Indian Trade Unions, Cachar, who was addressing the gathering, said, “We want change. The present government may have won and ousted Congress government, but our problems continue to run perennially. The present government has failed to keep up to the expectation of the people.” The increase of VAT by 1% has discontented a large section of people. People belonging to the poor sections of the society will not be able to buy these items. With the increase of VAT on medical diagnostic kits, medical equipments, devices and implants, spare parts of motor vehicles, glucose, sugar and CFL bulbs and all kitchen utensils, the government has invited wrath of the people.

The protest has been organized centring on many issues, NRC being one of them. Dulal Mitra, president, local committee, CPI (M), summarized the objectives on the day’s demonstration and said, “Many people who have already cast their votes, have been asked for applying for attaining citizen status. Prime Minister rendra Modi has promised a lot of changes for the state but in actuality, everything is hollow. We should protest against such decisions.” He also said that people of the state voted for BJP in the hope that ‘Achche Din’ would come, which now looks a distant dream.

The purpose of the protest-demonstration has been explained through leaflets that have been distributed and it speaks volumes about the problems that people are facing regarding food supply. It has been stated that in while filling up of biometric form during the 2011 census, people have filled in the exact number of their family members along with mes. Unfortutely, it has been found out many mes were missing or may have been cut-off from the list altogether. As a result of which many deprived families are starving and languishing in poverty. Protesters have expressed their opinion that the BJP government only caters to the need of the richer sections of the people and have no time for solving serious issues which have been plaguing the system.

There is also discrepancy in distribution of rice which is a staple food for the people of this region. According to the Food Security Act, rice was to be distributed at the rate of Rs. 2 per kg. But, the pricing differs and government is uware of it. In a large number of shops, rice is being sold at the rate of Rs.3. 4 or more per kg. Dealers say that they are not receiving any transportation cost or commission and as such, they are miffed up with the government. There is huge gap between that was promised and what has been done.

It will be difficult for the government to rise above expectations if these issues are not resolved on time because a stitch in time saves nine.

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