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CPI-M to oppose Coal Mines Amendment Bill in RS

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Sitaram Yechury20141214005222_l

Guwahati, Dec 14 (IANS) CPI-M Politbureau member Sitaram Yechury said Saturday that the party will oppose the Coal Mines (Special Provision) Amendment Bill 2014 in the Rajya Sabha next week.

Yechury was addressing the media here.

The veteran CPI-M leader also slammed the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre for trying to reverse the age-old laid down procedures of the House "routing legislation through the parliamentary standing committees" and said that this is a very dangerous situation.

"We have been opposing private mining since long time back. The Coal Mines (Special Provision) Amendment Bill will only benefit the big businessmen at the expense of our people. The bill, if passed, will empower private owners to mine and export the resource which is a public property whereas the different thermal power plants across the country are in dire need of coal. We are going to oppose the bill in the Rajya Sabha," he said.

He added that while the Left parties will try to oppose the bill together they would also seek the support of the Congress in opposing it.

The CPI-M leader also slammed the wrong policies of the government and said that the country is all set to witness a sharp fall in agricultural production as area agricultural land has been declining.

"The government is cutting down whatever little subsidy poor people had. There is cut in the budget of MNREGA, food subsidy. The economic scene in the country is bleak and to cover this the BJP is resorting to communalism," he said.

He also criticized the NDA government’s attitude towards Assam and other northeastern states and said that the new government had gone back on all its pre-Lok Sabha poll promises in the region.

"The government had decided to halt the North East Industries and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIPP). They have decided to stop the food ration to the tea workers. This is not fair," he said adding that the saffron party after coming to power has also reversed its stand on the big dams in the region.

"Before the Lok Sabha polls, the BJP had adopted an anti-big dam stand. But now the same party is asking for the people’s consent in constructing the big dams for power generation," he pointed out.

Yechury also made his party’s stand on big dams clear and said that there should be first a detailed assessment of the benefits of dam and power projects to the people of Assam, which will be a downstream state.

On the curtailment of food ration to tea workers in Assam, Yechury said that there is no reason that food ration to the workers should stop.

"Different states have historically evolved some packages. As far as my knowledge goes, the wage package of the tea workers in Assam includes the food ration," he said while arguing that it should continue.

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