ON October 11, the J&K state committee of the CPI(M)met at Srinagar.
During the day-long deliberations the political situation in Jammu and Kashmir and various problems pertaining to different sections of population were discussed threadbare. The committee expressed serious concern regarding the irresponsive attitude of the state administration towards the livelihood issues of the common people.
The following resolutions were adopted:
1. The rise in freight charges on apple boxes from Kashmir to outside state markets; state government’s market intervention scheme (MIS) for purchase of C-grade and cull fruit from the farmers has been stopped which has hardly hit the growers. The fruit growers are forced to rush their produce to various markets across the country due to lack of cold storage and other facilities. As such the government must provide attention towards the problems of the growers.
2. Daily wagers/casual labourers who were promised of regularization are not being paid their wages for months together. Casual labourers who have donated land for PHE schemes, those working in Power Development Department (PDD) and other departments are without wages for several months. This approach has caused lot of distress among the poor workers.
3. The committee also asked the government to shelve privatization of PDD. The privatization would increase the power tariff by a huge margin leaving the electricity bills beyond the paying capacity of locals. Government should take into notice the income of majority of the population before going ahead with the privatization drive. People at present pay the current tariff with difficulty, and it will be huge burden on them to pay additional fee. The CPI(M) has demanded reversal of this counter-productive policy of privatization of power sector forthwith.
4. On the group medi-claim health insurance scheme rolled out by Jammu and Kashmir government recently for employees and pensioners, the committee expressed its concern that an equal premium of Rs 8,777 for group IV employees and gazzetted officers in the scheme is unjustified and unacceptable. Government should have taken into consideration the amount of salary received by different categories of the employees while fixing the amount of premium and the suggestion of employee unions.
5. The CPI(M) expressed its deep concern over the indiscriminate arrests of youth, detentions under PSA and shifting of prisoners to outside Kashmir jails. It demanded immediate intervention from the governor to direct the concerned to desist from using excessive force and indiscriminate arrests and harassment.