CITU threatens all-India shutdown if cooking gas prices raised

February 8th, 2010 - 12:01 am ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Feb 7 (IANS) A prominent left trade union Sunday threatened an all-India shutdown if the central government raised prices of cooking gas and other petro-products following the Kirit Parikh panel recommendations.
Addressing a massive rally called by West Bengal’s ruling Left Front against escalating prices, Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) general secretary Mohammed Amin also urged the central government to stop futures trading in essentials and buy vegetables directly from the farmers to sell them through the public distribution system.

“We will go for an all-India strike (shutdown) if prices of cooking gar or other petro-products are increased,” Amin said.

In a recently released report, a committee chaired by Kirit Parikh has recommended total deregulation of petrol, diesel prices with a suggestion to immediately increase the price of kerosene by Rs.6 per litre and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) by Rs.100 a cylinder.

Referring to the ongoing jute industry strike, Amin said the agitation is continuing as the mill owners have refused to give dearness allowance.

“If they don’t give dearness allowance to the workers at a time when these poor people are burdened by rising prices, then how will the workers make both ends meet?” asked Amin, also a politburo member of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).

“The central government should have told the owners that bulk orders will not be given to the industry if they don’t release DA to the workers. Immediately, the owners would have relented,” he said, and declared the agitation will continue till the demand is met.

West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya said he had told the central government during the chief minister’s conference Saturday on tackling rising prices that it would sell essentials like rice and wheat at subsidised prices through the PDS.

“We have said what we wanted to. Now it is for the government to act.”

Echoing Amin, Bhattacharjee said that the results will be “catastrophic if kerosene and cooking gas prices are touched by the centre”.

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