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Mamata Banerjee

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India’s Prime Minister should not betray the People

NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF PEOPLE’S MOVEMENTS

National Office : A Wing First Floor, Haji Habib Building, Naigaon Cross Road, Dadar (E), Mumbai – 400 014. Phone – 9969363065; Delhi Office: 6/6 jangpura B, New Delhi – 110 014. Phone: 9818905316 E-mail: napmindia@napm-india.org | Web : http://www.napm-india.org

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 For Immediate Release 22nd September, 2012

Prime Minister should not betray the ‘natural’ and ‘real’ mass-investors in favour of the foreign

The issue of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Retail has led to maximum politicization & polarization amongst the political parties & within civil society. The right to left opposition parties have come together, the ruling UPA is not only cornered by the Trinamool Congress party that has withdrawn from alliance of UPA but is also challenged by the (left & right parties both on the ideology of economic development with FDI not only in Retail but also in every single sector ranging from education to real estate development) economic policy, reform & development in FDI in Retail.

It is still obvious that none of the political parties including SP, BSP, JD(U) or even TMC & the left have questioned per se, the ideology behind economic development with foreign support & investment through investors & investments from the foreign source. This issue based re-alliance, therefore, no doubt has its role in raising a critical issue, otherwise is raised by the common people asserting right to livelihood & no State violence or intervention against the national scenario of local resource based economies of and for the millions.

The movements such as that of farmers & hawkers, have had always questioned the very rationing & indispensability of the foreign investment which invariably has led to changing our policies against the poor i.e. the toiling masses. All the reasoning put forth by the Prime Minister in his latest speech, that justified FDI in Retail on the basis of generation of employment to compulsion of the global economics and market is contestable on very logical grounds. This is because the entry of the investors with the flow of Capital has invariably led to taking over of the jobs & the tasks serving as livelihood for the millions.

The big market players that are in, whether in farm sectors, retail or education have always raise the prices of the costs of services & goods that they initially offer as cheaper & good quality products. Later on the consumers or the beneficiaries have also found it difficult to challenge the marketers – profiteers whose strategies & means of manoeuvring & manipulating are beyond the control & monitoring of the common people. In short, in a sector such as retail which provides self-reliance through self-employment & related job opportunities to crores of small traders, hawkers & the service persons engaged in a large number of services ranging from domestic to small commercial enterprises could certainly snatch away the livelihood of a large population of the unprotected (mistakenly called unorganized) sector workforce.

It is not only the fear but the experience of the loss of economic space as also the political space for those who live upon small scale & partly self monitored market processes who are knocked-down by the big investors through not just entry but encroachment upon the ‘small’. The farmers to small traders who live on the natural and human resources, therefore, feel unsafe to face & challenge the big investors – corporates at the national level & more so at the International level. The opposition by people’s movements across the country and the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), therefore, is in the wider context whereby we question the global interference & not just investments in our economics & relatively in our politics.

In the present context of the unprecedented politicization of the issue we certainly welcome the courageous position & decision taken by the TMC led by the Mamta Banerjee, holding the economic sovereignty & the people’s livelihood above the political interest. However, taking into consideration the tricky challenge thrown by the UPA & PM, the real test of the parties in opposition would be, their commitment to execute ‘No FDI in Retail’ policy in the State where they or their allies enjoy power.

The movements cannot just wait & watch the political outfit of the present alignments to agitations but must educate & mobilize the masses including farmers, fish workers, vegetable growers, hawkers as also large section of the populations dependent on them, and raise a voice and wage a battle to get the anti-people decision to permit FDI in retail on one hand and make a dent into the pro-corporate, globalisation and privatisation based economic policies by bringing the wider issues onto the political agenda. The task, as always, appears to be difficult to impossible but it is not impossible, with the combined might of the struggling masses.

It is only and only the people’s power that can make the ‘political’ power holders accept the people’s vision of a self reliant and sovereign economy in order to ensure that they do not bring in the global glamour through FDI, but actually safeguard the right to life ( including livelihood to millions of Indians).

Medha Patkar,Sandeep Pandey, Prafulla Samantara, Gabriele Dietrich, Suniti S R, Ulka Mahajan, Roma, Arundhati Dhuru, Sister Celia, Maj. Gen. (Retd) Sudhir Vombatkere, Geo Jose, Hussain Master, P Chennaiah, Ramakrishna Raju, Vimal Bhai, Rajendra Ravi, Anand Mazgaonkar, Mukta Srivastava, Madhuresh Kumar

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National Alliance of People’s Movements
National Office: Room No. 29-30, 1st floor, ‘A’ Wing, Haji Habib Bldg, Naigaon Cross Road, Dadar (E), Mumbai – 400 014;
Ph: 022-24150529

6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
Phone : 011 26241167 / 24354737 Mobile : 09818905316
Web : http://www.napm-india.org

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/NAPMindia
Twitter : @napmindia

Ambika slams Mamata for naming PM

The Congress today criticized TMC leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for revealing the names of the Presidential candidates soon after meeting the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi Interacting with mediapersons in New Delhi, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni slammed Banerjee for naming Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the presidential race and termed it as unethical and undignified. http://www.indianexpress.com/video/national/6/ambika-slams-mamata-for-naming-pm/10337

Trinamool Congress forces UPA Cabinet to defer Pension Bill

Trinamool Congress (TMC) has once again forced the UPA Government to postpone a key reform measure, less than 24 hours after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promised to give a push to economic reforms. The Union Cabinet on Thursday played safe by deferring the Pension Bill, following opposition by the TMC.

Police lathicharge KKR fans outside Eden Gardens

The celebrations for winning the IPL turned ugly for the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens after several fans who failed to enter the venue started shouting slogans and broke through the barricades, forcing the police to lathicharge the crowd. The police had to take action after the fans near Gate No. 3 of Eden Gardens turned violent and pulled down the barricades to get a glimpse of the KKR players. Earlier, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had appealed to the police to let those waiting outside to enter the Eden Gardens even though the stadium had more than 1 lakh people inside. http://www.hindustantimes.com/audio-news-video/Chunk-HT-UI-IPL2012-Videos/Police-lathicharge-KKR-fans-outside-Eden-Gardens/Article2-863025.aspx

West Bengal govt. decides to repeal SEZ Act; Infosys, Wipro in a fix

West Bengal on Wednesday decided to repeal the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Act, 2003, clearing the road for other incentive schemes the Mamata Banerjee-led government is likely to announce over the next few weeks. The Act, passed to facilitate “the development, operation, maintenance, management, administration and the regulation of SEZs in West Bengal [ Images ]”, had earlier been opposed by Banerjee and her party, the Trinamool Congress [ Images ] (TMC), who had said it was exploitative for workers  http://www.rediff.com/business/report/bengal-decides-to-repeal-sez-act-infosys-wipro-in-a-fix/20120524.htm

A flawed exercise

A recommendation made by the parliamentary standing committee on rural development last week to take the government out of the contentious issue of land acquisition for public purpose is shocking. This single prescription has the effect of making the government’s Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation, and Resettlement Bill, 2011, which the panel scrutinised before making this and other recommendations, a flawed exercise. http://www.deccanherald.com/content/251225/a-flawed-exercise.html

Singur farmers want their land back ahead of crucial verdict on land acquisition case

http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/singur-farmers-want-their-land-back-ahead-of-crucial-verdict-on-land-acquisition-case-213583

The Calcutta High Court was scheduled to decide this week on the legality of the West Bengal government‘s decision to reclaim nearly 1000 acres leased to Tata Motors. Mamata Banerjee‘s sweeping victory in the Bengal elections last year was fuelled partly by her strong stand against the Nano factory. In June 2011, her party pushed through the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act 2011. Tata has challenged this legislation saying they were given the land under the Land Acquisition Act which is still valid.

Mamata govt completes 1 year

Inheriting a huge debt and many ailing public service sectors, Mamata Banerjee has done quite a lot in a year in terms of announcing grand new projects. Whether they will take shape in future and add to the revival of Bengal is for time to tell.  No change yet. ‘Inability to give back Singur land my biggest regret’ despite promises. The Trinamool Congress is yet to change the ailing state healthcare system though chief minister Mamata Banerjee who also handles the health portfolio has been trying her best to streamline the set up http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/Kolkata/Mamata-govt-completes-1-year/Article1-858493.aspx

Probing ex-DGP’s role in Nandigram: Bengal tells court

The CID is probing the role of former DGP Anup Bhusan Vohra and DIG (Midnapore Range) N R Babu for removing police pickets from the crucial Tekhali bridge – between the CPM-controlled Khejuri and BUPC-dominated Nandigram – on November 7, 2007, spurring clashes killing seven people. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/Probing-ex-DGPs-role-in-Nandigram-Bengal-tells-court/articleshow/13235821.cms

Centre eases norms for power units in SEZ

The central government has eased norms for setting up power units in SEZs. The government has exempted power firms from the positive net foreign exchange obligation applicable to regular units in such enclaves. According to the new guidelines, power plants can be set up by developers and co-developers in the processing area (where export units are present) as well as in the non-processing area with social infrastructure, including houses, schools and hospitals. Link: http://www.projectsmonitor.com/ELECTRICITY/centre-eases-norms-for-power-units-in-sez

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