Coordination Meeting: Left Satisfied With Govts Stance

New Delhi, Aug 26 | Updated: Aug 27 2004, 05:31am hrs
Describing the outcome of the UPA-Left coordination committee meeting, held on August 25, as good, Communist Party of India (CPI) national secretary D Raja expressed satisfaction with the governments replies.

CPI(Marxist) politburo member Sitaram Yechury also said that he was satisfied with the coordination committee meeting. He said that despite the fact that the Prime Minister had had a very difficult day, he spent the entire two hours addressing the Lefts concerns and that they were happy with the outcome.

Mr Raja said that finance minister P Chidambaram had responded positively to all the issues taken up truckers strike, price rise, foreign direct investement in telecom, de-reservation in the small scale sector and the setting of the proposed Board of Reconstruction of Public Sector Units.

On the issue of the employees provident fund (EPF), the CPI leader said that the government had assured the Left that there would be status quo on the 9.5 per cent rate of interest.

However, he added that although the government had already taken up some fiscal measures, like reducing customs and export duties in the oil and steel sectors, now that the Budget had been passed, it was time the UPA government got into the job and acted on implentating the common minimum programme (CMP).

After all, every party, including the Congress, is answerable to the people, said Mr Raja.

Meanwhile, the CPI(M) has distanced itself from CPI leader Gurudas Das Guptas accusation that the UPA government had surrendered to the Opposition and had come to an unprincipled compromise on the passage of the Finance Bill without discussion as well as early adjournment of the budget session. This was stated by CPI(M) Rajya Sabha member Nilotpal Basu. He also said that this was not the official position of the CPI.