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CPI: UPA retail policy shortsighted

BS Reporters  |  New Delhi 

Party says govt misleading people on jobs in the sector.
The Communist Party of India (CPI) has criticised the UPA government's economic policies and warned that the entry of big business houses in the retail sector will make a large number of people jobless. The benefits to the consumers, it said, would be short-term.
Briefing mediapersons on the three-day meeting of the party's Central Committee, CPI General Secretary AB Bardhan said the government was misleading people on the job opportunities in big retail stores.
"Some 50,000 people may get employed but these stores will threaten the livelihood of about four crore retailers,'' he said. The CPI(M) has already demanded a licensing regime for the retail stores.
The meeting issued a strong indictment of the UPA government's policies, including its flagship legislation, the National Rural Employment Guarantee (NREG) Act.
"The implementation of the Act is disappointing as the government has failed to tackle the problem of unemployment through it,'' the party resolution said.
The party has sought a "sincere" mid-term review by the UPA government of all its policies that have a bearing on price rise, employment, livelihood, SEZs, and farmers.
"We are not going to withdraw support to the UPA government on these issues, but we, along with other Left partners, will press for a mid-term correction in the policies and review our relationship with the UPA in this context,'' Bardhan said.
The CPI also accused the Congress of reversing land reforms by allowing big businesses to divest farmers of their land through contract farming. The party threatened a countrywide agitation to protest against the government's failure to change the economic condition of farmers.
Bardhan alleged that in Andhra Pradesh, the CPI workers who were spearheading the land reforms campaign were being subjected to police atrocities.
"Our general secretary was sought to be charged for sedition for demanding land reforms and it was only under media pressure that police relented,'' Bardhan said.

First Published: Mon, July 16 2007. 00:00 IST