Ban futures trading in commodities: CPI-M

March 18th, 2008 - 3:58 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of P. Chidambaram

New Delhi, March 18 (IANS) The Left made a forceful plea in parliament Tuesday for banning futures trading in commodities saying it was contributing to the spiralling prices of foodstuff and essential commodities. “Speculators indulging in futures trading are contributing to the price rise,” Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) MP Sitaram Yechury maintained while raising the issue during zero hour in the Rajya Sabha.

“We have three demands. The first is to ban futures trading in 24 commodities as speculators are contributing to the price rise,” Yechury stated.

“Our second demand is to immediately restore the reductions made in supplies to the public distribution system (PDS),” he added.

In this context, he said that while Finance Minister P. Chidambaram had attributed this to the states not accepting their total allotments, this was not so in the case of the Left-ruled states.

“In the case of Kerala, the reduction is 82 percent. In the case of West Bengal, the reduction is 44 percent. Allocations should immediately be restored to previous levels,” Yechury demanded.

“Our third demand is to strengthen the PDS rather than cripple it. We want the universalization of the system,” he added.

Here again, Yechury took on Chidambaram for stating that “surgery” was necessary to remove people above the poverty line from the purview of the PDS.

“The finance minister’s diagnosis and prescription is wrong. The surgery might be successful but the patient is dying,” Yechury maintained.

As Deputy Chairman K. Rahman Khan moved on to the next speaker, the CPI-M members got up to move out of the house but the presiding officer refused to accept this as a walkout.

“This is not a walkout,” Khan contended.

The CPI-M members earlier staged a sit in and shouted slogans in the main portico of Parliament House to protest against the rising prices and demand immediate steps to control these.

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