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Farmer-the most endangered species

West Bengal degenerates sign deal with firm whose account books are still dripping with the blood of millions of communists claughtered in Indonesia

Posted by Ramoo on January 10, 2007

By Ajay Prakash
25 August 2006
Last month, West Bengal’s Left Front government signed India’s biggest foreign direct investment (FDI) deal with the Salim Goup, an Indonesian conglomerate closely linked to the former Indonesian dictator General Suharto.
The founder of the Salim Group is Liem Sioe Liong. Reportedly the richest man in Indonesia, Liem owes much of his fortune to privileges granted him by Suharto, whom he befriended in the 1940s.
Suharto was responsible for the bloody purge of Indonesian Communist Party members and sympathisers between 1965 and 1966 that resulted in more than a million deaths. But this has not stopped Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI [M]) West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee promoting the deal and brushing aside criticisms:
“Why should we rake up the past? They [the Salim Group] have invested in China, too. Our stand is clear. For the development of the state we need capital. We are not concerned about the character of the investor. To me capital has no colour.”

SEZs are set up by state governments, usually in collaboration with the private sector, as self-contained areas with their own water- and power-supply systems. Their great value to the bourgeoisie is that taxes, and labour standards and other regulations are waived.
According to India together, “To woo investors to the zones, the central government has been offering a number of fiscal incentives and concessions. For instance, the zones are deemed as foreign territories as far as trade operations, duties and tariffs are concerned. The units (100 percent export oriented) also have full flexibility in operations. They are exempt from all direct and indirect taxes. No export and import duties, no excise duty, no central or state sales tax and no service tax. The units do not require license for importing capital goods and raw material. 100 percent FDI is allowed in the zones. Repatriation of export profits is also allowed.”
The SEZs also offer investors cheap labour without any legal restrictions or interference from government bodies. Whether workers are blue collar or professional, they face similar working conditions, labouring for 10-12 hours a day for low wages, usually without paid overtime, holiday pay or retirement benefits. These are the sort of conditions that the CPI (M) is introducing into West Bengal as it woos foreign capital and Indian big business.

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