[Marxism] "Before we had a boss. Now we are the bosses" - Venezuelan co-ops expand
Marla Vijaya kumar
marlavk at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 23 11:09:58 MDT 2006
The main propaganda of neo-liberals is that any concessions and tax-sops given to state owned enterprises and co-operatives makes them in-efficient and are bound to collapse.
Since the 80s when the successive Indian governments embarked on the program of privatization and so-called liberalization, many tax-sops and concessions enjoyed hither-to by SOEs have been withdrawn. Weavers co-operaives, sugar farmers co-operatives and fertilizer co-operatives across the country have been deliberately strangled, shutdown and handed over to big business houses. Hundreds of thousands of farmers and weavers have committed suicides due to bankruptcy during this period in question.
But surprisingly, the big business houses and even MNCs extract a number of tax concessions from the Indian government, for setting up industries and businesses.
Hyderabad in South India is the fastest growing city and is the hub of software industry along with Bangalore.
Land prices have skyrocketed in the last few years and the citys official zone
has almost doubled in size and the population had crossed 6 million 2 years back.
The government seizes land from poor farmers at old government fixed rates (which are anywhere between 5-10% of market price) and hands over hundereds of acres of land at 10-15% of government fixed rates to big businesses.
Today, an acre of land within the proposed ring road limits is around 15 to 40 million Indian Rupees, depending on the location. The land is acquired by the government at a flat rate of 1.2 million Rs. and handed over to prospective businesses at nominal rates.
Moreover, the businesses get tax exemption for 5 to 10 years, total exemption from labour laws, freedom to hire and fire etc. The government spends money to provide all of the infrastructure such as industrial water, power, roads and communications at their door-step.
Is this meant to make the private businesses more efficient? Or perhaps, the rules are different for workers and farmers co-operatives!
Vijaya Kumar Marla
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