CPI opposes hike in higher officials’ salaries

March 24th, 2008 - 9:59 pm ICT by admin  

Hyderabad, March 24 (IANS) The Communist Party of India (CPI) Monday strongly opposed the Sixth Pay Commission’s recommendation for a hefty hike in the salaries of senior government officials. The CPI, which along with three other Left parties supports the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government from outside, termed as ‘anti-national’ most of the recommendations, and opposed the suggested increase in the retirement age to 62 years.

Gurudas Dasgupta, CPI floor leader in the Lok Sabha, said a poor country like India could not afford the hike.

He, however, welcomed the increase in the salaries of the Class III and Class IV employees.

“Forty percent increase in salaries has been suggested, hefty increase has been granted to the people at the high level of administration - particularly secretary, joint secretary and additional secretary level. I think the increase is too much. A poor country like India cannot afford to pay that,” said Dasgupta, who is also the general secretary of All India Trade Union Congress.

He was talking to media persons on the sidelines of the five-day 20th national Congress of CPI that began here Sunday.

He termed as ‘ominous’ the recommendations for increase the retirement age to 62 years and ban on recruitment while rationalizing the manpower, and called upon all trade unions, political parties and social forces to strongly oppose them.

“When the country has not less than 15 crore (150 million) unemployed people, increase in the retirement age is against the youth,” he said.

The party also reiterated its charge that the UPA government was deviating from the Common Minimum Program (CMP) by implementing “neo-liberal economic policies and World Bank policies”.

Shameem Faizee, the spokesperson of the CPI Congress, said the meet felt that the government was ignoring the Left parties.

“We would like the government to implement the CMP if it wants to survive for the full term,” he quoted party general secretary A.B. Bardhan as telling the conference.

Moving the draft political resolution, Bardhan lashed out at the government for glaring deviation in the foreign policy.

He alleged that the UPA was trying to make India a junior partner in the US’ game of establishing its hegemony over the world He pointed that the CMP promised that India would work for multilateralism in the international policy.

“We cannot support a government which is going to surrender our political sovereignty and independent foreign policy,” he said.

Bardhan listed out positive and negative aspects of the performance of the UPA government and also spoke on the successes and the failures of the Left parties in dealing with the UPA.

He termed National Rural Employment Guarantee act, Right to Information Act, and the law regarding tribals’ right on forest land as progressive laws.

The CPI leader said the Left was able to prevent the government from privatising the profit-making state-run undertakings and handing over pension funds to private operators.

He admitted that the Left was not able to make the government fulfil its promise of framing a law for providing 33 percent reservation to women in parliament and state assemblies, a law to provide social security to unorganized workers, and the comprehensive legislation for agriculture workers.

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