The Himachal Pradesh CPM unit has decided to hold demonstrations on 17th September throughout the state against the steep hike in the price of diesel and the limiting of six cooking gas cylinders per family per year. The party shall hold public meetings and will court arrest to arrest the steep hike in the two essential commodities. The party will expose the UPA 2 of its strong neo liberal leanings. The government has allowed 51% FDI in retail which will severely affect the retail traders in the country. The designs of Congress party to ruin this crucial sector would be rebuffed with strong opposition.

The CPM has stated, the hike in the price of diesel will have a cascading inflationary impact imposing greater burdens on the already suffering people. Agricultural sector and farmers will particularly suffer. The limiting of cooking gas cylinders will adversely impact on the livelihood condition of crores of families across the country.

This UPA II government’s reasoning that such hikes are inevitable because of the `burgeoning losses’ of oil companies is a patent falsehood. The oil and natural gas giant, ONGC, declared a net profit of Rs. 25,123 crores for the year 2011-12. For the next quarter ending June 30, 2012, it has reported a further growth in profit of 48.4 per cent. The IOC has reported a net profit of Rs. 4,265.27 crores for 2011-12. The Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) reported a net profit of Rs. 911 crores. Interestingly, for the last quarter of the fiscal, January-March 2012, its net profit increased by 312 per cent. The Bharat Petroleum has reported a net profit of Rs. 1,546.68 crores.

This UPA II government is thus committing a gigantic fraud on the Indian people.

The party has called upon its units to organize strong protest actions against the imposition of such severe economic burdens. The CPI(M) calls upon all secular opposition forces to unite in protests to force the UPA II government to roll back this unreasonable hike in the prices of diesel and limiting cooking gas cylinders.

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