Date: Thursday, June 25, 2020
The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) extends is support to the three-day countrywide strike by all the federations and unions of workers demanding the scrapping of the government decision to allow commercial mining of coal by private sector including foreign entitles and the move to privatise public sector coal mining companies.
This decision is tantamount to completely reversing the nationalization of coal mining which was undertaken in national interests to ensure energy security of our country. This destroys the self-reliant basis of our economy and converts our country into one of self-subservience to profit maximisation of foreign and domestic private corporates.
Coal is an essential input for several vital industries like power generation, steel, aluminum, fertilisers and cement. This move by the central government will result in starving domestic industries of essential inputs as now exports will be unregulated.
The 41 coal blocks identified for such privatization fall in different parts of the country – Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand etc. Most of these blocks are located in forest areas which is the traditional habitat and source of livelihood for crores of our tribal people. This will uproot the lives of our tribal communities.
Such privatization is accompanied by further deregulation of environmental norms. This will lead to severe environmental degradation posing serious threats.
Instead of single-mindedly focusing on combatting the pandemic and providing sustenance to crores of lives that have been destroyed due to the unplanned unilateral lockdown announced by Prime Minister Modi, the BJP government is going ahead with its core agenda of further intensifying the exploitation of the people particularly the working class.
The PB of the CPI(M) demands that this decision be withdrawn with immediate effect in the interests of our country.