[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 80’s 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of privatization and so-called liberalization, many  tax-sops and concessions enjoyed hither-to by SOEs have been withdrawn.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. 
      For example:
      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  city’s 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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