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Chidambaram barking up the wrong tree: Yechury

July 14, 2013 15:16 IST

Communist Party of India-Marxist Politburo Member Sitaram Yechury has stated that Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s recent visit to the United States to lure American companies to invest in India will not solve the country’s problems.  

Yechury, who was the chief guest at the Ghadar Movement centenary celebration at the Ghadar Building in San Francisco, California, told on the sidelines of the event: “They are barking up the wrong tree. We require a lot of foreign exchange to meet our new imports. Now in the urge to get foreign exchange there is a tremendous eagerness in the part of the government to attract foreign capital. So we have ministers coming here literally begging for foreign investments.”

“Investors would come only if people have capital to buy the product and what we see now is that the purchasing power is declining,” he said, adding “in order to meet the country’s fiscal deficit the prices of all essential commodities, including fuel prices, are being increased at very short intervals. As the result, the purchasing power at the hands of the Indian people is declining. So investment will not come unless you are able to sell what you produce.”

Asserting that urgency is needed for a policy shift, the Left leader said, “If you make the shift, there is a good possibility of India recovering to 8 per cent GDP. Otherwise, we could be compounding our deficits. And then in order to pay back the external debt we will inexorably land up in a debt trap; that will be terrible and it will take many decades to get out of that. This has to be done in this coming fiscal year and that is why the 2014 elections are very important; to determine the policy direction for India.”

Lamenting that economic policies and liberalizations had been confined to a very small section of the Indian people, Yechury said: “Today we have two India -- one is the shining India for the rich and the other is the suffering India for the poor. There a spectacular growth of billionaires in India over the last few years, but at the same time we have 70 per cent of India that is living in less than Rs 20 a day, one-third of a Dollar a day."

"This is what is India today. So what we have to change. The Ghadar party and its heroes inspire us to achieve economic independence for our people. Our party has taken this issue seriously in India.”

The CPI-M had passed a resolution in its 20th Congress held in Kozhikode, Kerala, in April 2012 to observe the centenary of the Ghadar movement throughout the country.

"This is a very important chapter in the entire struggle for India's independence, which has not received the adequate attention. It is seen only as someone who went abroad, but had a very deep influence. In fact, it was the first call for India's complete freedom.”

"We think it is very important event for the younger generation particularly who are struggling to fulfil what remains unfulfilled since the time of independence -- the economic independence of our people. The Ghadar movement is an important inspiration," said Yechury.

Ritu Jha