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Left praises itself for saving India from global crisis

Source: PTI
October 22, 2008 18:11 IST
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Left parties, the United Progressive Alliance's friend-turned-foe, on Wednesday congratulated themselves for saving India from getting trapped in the global financial turmoil by stopping the government from allowing pension money in stock market and opening up banks for foreign investment.

Demanding reduction in the fuel prices, Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) said, "You must congratulate us as we have stopped you from increasing the FDI (foreign direct investment) in insurance."

The policy allowed 26 per cent foreign direct investment in insurance. While there was a move to raise the FDI ceiling to 49 per cent, the Left parties which had provided crucial support to the government, were opposed to it.

Had the government allowed the pensions funds to be invested in the share market, "What would have happened to pensioners now?" Yechury asked.

Investors have lost over 50 per cent value in the stock market since January this year.

He said with the softening of crude oil prices, government should cut prices of petroleum products. Yechury also sought a cut in the issue price of foodgrains supplied through ration shop since food prices have come down.

"These two measures should be immediately taken, if government is serious about inclusive growth," he said.

The CPI(M) MP said the government has delisted only 8 commodities in futures trading though there was a demand for banning 25 essential commodities. "But I do not know why you have included rubber in the list of banned items," he said.

The primary cause of inflation is speculative trading in commodity exchanges where turnover has exceeded Rs 40 lakh crore (Rs 40 trillion), he said. "How can you stop rise in prices when people are expecting profit from commodity futures," he asked.

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