Abandon liberalisation agenda, CPI-M tells PM


New Delhi : Ridiculing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's appeal to industry to work for a more equitable world, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Thursday asked the government to shed its liberalisation agenda if it was serious about inclusive economic growth.

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Stating that capitalism and exploitation go hand in hand, an editorial in People's Democracy, the official organ of CPI-M, said: "Hence, all appeals to a change of heart (on the part of industry) is not only meaningless but is empty rhetoric."

It went on: "If the prime minister's declared objectives are to be realised, then what is required is a change of course in economic policies: the abandonment of the neo-liberal policy framework and a shift in the focus of economic policies from being solely preoccupied with corporate profits towards improving people's welfare…

"Liberalisation with a `human face', however desirable it may be, can never be achieved as these two simply do not go together. If the objective is to improve human livelihood, then the liberalization agenda needs necessarily to be abandoned."

The editorial followed the prime minister's appeal to India Inc to eschew conspicuous consumption and to moderate the salaries and other perks of CEOs.

People's Democracy said: "To be fair, much of what was stated by the prime minister in seeking a partnership with industry to achieve a more equitable and inclusive growth cannot be faulted.

"However, such pious declarations and appeals to a change of heart cannot and will not meaningfully alter the situation which the prime minister himself described as 'progress (having benefited) India and not Bharat'."

After painting a grim picture of economic conditions in India, the CPI-M organ said that improving economic status of the people implies providing them decent levels of livelihood. "Instead, we are witnessing the opposite."