CPI to campaign against direct cash transfer

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 11, 2013 13:50 hrs

Mumbai, Jan 11 (IANS) The Mumbai council of the Communist Party of India (CPI) Friday said the direct cash transfer scheme would detract attention from the failing public distribution system (PDS), and it would launch a signature campaign against it.

Party members demanded that the cash transfer scheme be withdrawn immediately and improvements made in the proposed Food Security Bill.

"The party is planning to organise a signature campaign in Mumbai, with an aim to collect five lakh signatures, calling for reforms in the Food Security Bill, improvement in electricity distribution, and repeal of the centre's plan of Direct Cash Transfers," said Prakash Reddy, secretary of the Mumbai council of the CPI.

The party also opposes the linking of wages under the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act to the Aadhar number.

"To push for such a shift in policy without any discussion in parliament on the proposed bill for the Unique Identification Authority is unacceptable," Reddy said.

He added that the government had declared that this policy of cash transfer directly would be extended to food, kerosene and fertilisers too, once the "system is in place."

"At a time when inflation rules high, cash transfers to replace public goods were a pretext for cutting subsidies, as cash thus transferred would not cover the increased cost of subsidised grains. The measure would push up malnutrition and hunger," Reddy said.

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