The Cash Transfer Scheme (CTS) will demolish the Public Distribution System (PDS) in the country and it is only a ploy of the government to reduce subsidies, Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat has said.
Opposing introduction of CTS replacing subsidy for foodgrains, fertilisers etc, he told a press conference here on Friday that CTS, introduced on January 1, was not inflation index-based but a fixed scheme.
‘’The cash provided to a beneficiary instead of subsidised foodgrains through PDS will be fixed and will not be affected by market price fluctuations. A person, who can get a kilogram of rice at Rs 2, has to shell out more on the market to get the same commodity. More important, the cash provided under CTS will be utilised for other necessities which, in turn, will deny nutrition to the family particularly children.’’
The CPM was also opposed to linking the CTS to the Aadhaar card (UIAID scheme) which had no legal standing as yet. CTS was already in vogue, where it was need, like scholarships and pensions, he noted.
Reiterating his party’s opposition to rail fare hike announced weeks ahead of the railway budget, Karat said it was nothing but bypassing Parliament. ‘’It is unfortunate that even the common man is being burdened by hiking second-class and suburban train fares. We will demand withdrawal of the hike except in cases of higher classes. We will raise the issue when Parliament meets in the third week of February,’’ he said.
Expressing concern over the increasing atrocities on women, he said the government had promised to amend the laws to give them more teeth. The CPM had submitted a note to Justice Verma on this, he said. Karat, who is here to participate in the party’s state executive committee meeting, said they strongly opposed the state government’s decision to increase electricity charges and would launch an agitation along with other opposition parties. On Telangana, he said, “ It is the government’s turn to take a decision. ’’