Economic independence not for Himachal, central assistance a must: CPIM manifesto



Shimla: In its manifesto released in Shimla today, the Communist Party of India Marxist (CPIM) gave an antithesis of what the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) dished out in theirs on Thursday. The party that is fighting on only seven seats in Himachal is relying on the issue of increase in central assistance to Himachal in form of higher distress grants for state’s river water and compensations for nationalization of the forests. The party has totally quashed the chances of a ‘Future Himachal’ that can sustain all business solely on its domestic income, due to fewer revenue generating resources.

After releasing the manifesto, Secretary of the state, CPIM, Rakesh Singha said, “The genesis of the present Himachal was not done rationally keeping in view the economic resources, which leave very bleak chances with the state for economic independence.”

He added, “We will endorse the state’s case for getting a 15 per cent distress cost (Royalty) on water being used in hydro projects that is currently only 12 per cent and Rs 200 crore per annum central compensation for nationalisation of state’s forests, which contribute in nationwide carbon cutting.” He also said that the CPIM would demand Rs 1000 lump sum compensation for forests from the centre for the carbon cutting done so far by the Himachal forests. Singha said that the party’s fight would also be for getting back the ‘special category state’ status for Himachal, so that more funds for development can flow in from the centre.

The CPIM has also said that it would wage a struggle for increasing the state’s equity share in the hydel projects from the present five per cent to 30 per cent in the future. The other main concerns of the CPIM would remain fighting for land ownership rights of the farmers for the non-forest government land on which they are cultivating crops and opposition to Corporate and Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in the retail sector.

The other promises include, time bound five per cent increase in employees’ retirement pension, Rs. 500 p.m. unemployment dole, ensuring that the government does not pull out its investments from the social sectors like health and education that would keep the charges of these services affordable to all sections, housing and basic facilities for labourers, medical facilities for treatment of those disabled due to accidents and regularization of those who have completed 5 years on contract in government jobs.

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