Monday, January 16, 2012

Memorandum submitted by BMS during pre-budget meeting


BHARATIYA MAZDOOR SANGH

Dattopant Thengadi Bhawan, 27 Dindayal Upadhyaya Marg,  New Delhi-110 002

Tel. : 011-23222654; Fax : 91-11-23212648; E-mail : bmsdtb@gmail.com


PRE BUDGET MEETING WITH HON’BLE FINANCE MINISTER,
GOVT OF INDIA
JANUARY 16,2012, NEW DELHI



Hon’ble Minister of Finance
Govt of India
New Delhi

Sub: Memorandum submitted by BMS during the pre Budget meeting

Respected Sir,

We thank you for inviting BMS for these pre budget consultations
The American President appealed the Americans to buy goods from American producers and protect the interests of USA. In the same tune BMS expects the budget 2012-13 to infuse the ‘swadeshi spirit’ and encourage the Indian buyer to buy Indian commodities.
We wish to focus your kind attention to the neglectful attitude shown by the Govt of India towards the labour problems during past few years. That has caused the BMS and other central trade unions to take to streets. Through various forms of agitations BMS and other central trade unions have been trying to invite Govt to act positively on the issues on the table. Having done mass rallies, squatting programs, mass processions and courting attests, now the unity of CTUs is heading for the show down in form of All India ‘Industrial Bundh, proposed to be held on 28th Feb 2012.
BMS demands immediate meaningful dialogue on all relevant and pending labour issues.
We remind the Govt that as a consequence of the Meeting of CTUs with the Hon’ble Prime Minister in 2006 that a high power tripartite committee was constituted at the behest of Govt and the findings are lying on the PM’s table since 2008 and no decisions have been made on the issues so far.
Likewise ,the Tripartite consensus arrived on issues relating to the contract labour across the board are waiting for a ‘go’ from Prime Minister and matter is in limbo for about 2 years.
There was an amendment mooted to the Gratuity Act that the amount would be properly protected through insurance, but so far that has not been notified by the Govt. As a matter of relief the payment of Gratuity is free from Income Tax. But those workmen who have secured a better benefit are required to pay tax on surplus amount. BMS demands that this tax be done away with now up to 10 Lacs.
The last budget spelt out & provided for Regulatory Authority for Coal workers and was a welcome move.  But nothing on this front has taken place barring the budgetary announcement.
On promise of 1% commission made by the Govt  some poor self-help people have been earning their bread by selling  Govt investing schemes like NSC, NSS etc. Now Govt has reduced the rate from 1% to half. This is breach of promise.BMS demands that this must be undone.
The yester year’s wage boards for the industries like Sugar, Paper, Engineering, Textile, Transport etc have not been constituted and there is no problem solving mechanism obtainable now. BMS demands immediate constitution.
            The recommendations of ‘Majithia commission ‘for journalists and other have been duly notified but no Corporate is paying any heed to this.BMS demands immediate Govt action.
The promises made to the labour to bring in dis- investment only after consulting the trade unions and proceeds of the disinvestment to go for reinvesting in the productive activity are almost forgotten.
It was then promised that all the issues concerning the labour would be decided only after due consultations with the Labour. That too has been conveniently forgotten now.
In order to secure access to productive resources for the down trodden lot of the society, BMS is demanding surplus Govt land allocation to them since last many years but Govt has no mind to make the decision on this
The activities to generate the alternate renewable energy resources through the masses were thought to serve both the productive employment generation and meet fuel needs. The massive scale ‘oil seed’ tree plantations envisaged by the 10th 5 year plan has been given total go by. The wavering policies don’t seem to serve any purpose.
There is no policy initiative from the Govt in the matter of ‘power alcohol’. A fair and compatible rate with the petroleum products only would balance the table. This will ensure fast revival of the ailing industry and would ensure productive employment in rural India. This will ensure better level playing field for the sugarcane growers and thereby encouraging the generation of employment in the agriculture
BMS is demanding the creation of productive jobs and not mere ‘jobs’. From this point of view a major concern is to make the schemes of MGNAREGA to contribute to productive assets creations. The important resource generated from the tax collection deserves a better and purposeful allocation while consuming it on the MGNAREGA. The commitment of the Govt to increase the days to 200 per year awaits the implementation. The Govt employee working on these schemes in the name of Gramsevak/Gramsathi/muster clerks etc are kept to rot on the contract with meager income. They need permanency with allied benefits. The creation of the infrastructure has been major emphasis in the current phase of development. But the work done is one time job. Unfortunately the method of creation of infrastructure is not debated. Rather machines working on the work we want more labour intensive technology to become operative where 70% resource allocation should go to man/mule power and remaining 30% for the machines with need based use.
The corporate sector is creating the inequalities between labour and the other factors of productions. Sharing the gains of the productivity and profitability between the labour and the capital has been the issue. The GOVT’S policy of discouraging the Trade Unions only is helping in creating the inequalities/ disparities. The interests of the consumer also need to be paid attention to by the Govt of this welfare State. From this point of view BMS is demanding since last many decades for some kind of mechanism to decide the share of the labour in the prosperity of industry / Nation.
BMS therefore demands that 20% of the net profit of the industry to go to the labour in the form of the equity of the Company and 20% to the consumer for reducing the prices of the product. BMS demands urgent amendment in the company Law to accommodate these changes. We demand 20% to go to shareholders and 40% to be ploughed back to the reserve capital. We demand the Budget 2012-13 to open this chapter.
BMS has been raising the issue of implementation of the labour laws for quite some time now. This requires a close working relationship of the States and Central Govt. As a responsible social partner the Labour is ready to play the role of responsibility to hilt by offering co operation in implementation of the labour laws across country.
BMS is on the records with a suggestion to form ‘Labour Panchayat’ ,comprising of five labour representatives each from top five Central Trade Unions unto district level to assist Govt to deal with issues of labour disputes and elimination/regulation of the illegal labour contract. On State level BMS demands formation of Labour Tripartite Advisory Bodies forthwith. This mechanism also could be used for Fast Track disposal of the labour problems.
BMS wants Govt to take initiative in formulating the policies on tripartism. The implementation has been the key issue of Labour field.
Besides the production and service sectors where there are no labour laws applicable like SEZs, we demand that they may be brought expressly under the present labour laws.
The much debated issues of monetary policies of the Govt and the inbuilt defect causing the nonstop inflation and the constant price rise has been the matter of concern for last few years. The high level price equilibrium even if achieved is not welcome. The policies of forward trading and the entry of big corporate money in the fields of housing, real estate, retail trading and in agriculture/agro products has been causing harassment to common working people. The policies envisaged in the 10th five year plan to generate productive rural employment have been given a go bye are some such issues which BMS has raised last year as well.
Lifting the ban on recruitment, extending the social security by a suitable budgetary support, bringing Domestic workers, Asha workers and Vidya volunteers, guest teachers, shiksha mitra ,mid day meal workers, Anganwadi workers, Sales/Medical Representatives, etc on employment schedule, lifting the poverty limit of and accommodating the people in the precarious employments within the scope of the various Govt schemes- are some such issues which need urgent attention of the Govt and there is no better occasion that this budget of 2012-13.
By toeing the policies of appeasement of wealthy people the Govt is causing harm to the needy and poor working people and at the same time causing middle class people to pay more through their nose while the rich is set free .BMS wants Govt to change the target group and force the rich to share responsibility for the social transformation.
 1% rich and powerful want to exert remote control over the system and get the rule to allow them to lead the life of extortionists and cause the 99% to pay social cost for the their extravagant consumerism. This will have to be changed. The proposed restructuring of the taxation policy is only rich friendly. BMS demands that the erring corporate and tax evaders be handled sternly.
On the other hand the Bank deposit rates are touching 11%pa interest returns due to inflation but the rate on EPF has been unjustly capped down and investors of the EPF scheme are held much below the market rates. BMS reiterates the demand of 12.50%pa rate for EPF.
Likewise BMS demands a minimum indexed pension of Rs3000/-pm.
Due to unprecedented price rise in past few years the DA being paid to the Central/State Govt Employees and those of PSUs has crossed 50% mark. Now therefore Govt is bound by conventions and practices to revise the allowances by merging the DA with Basic. BMS demands that this demand be settled in the Budget 2012-13.
This fast fleeting upward price rise has eroded the net real worth of rupee and so the inflated income needs proportionate relief in the income tax. BMS therefore demands that the income tax relaxation limit be scaled up to the 5lac yearly income.
The consistent fall of rupee in the global market and downslide of dollar both are ringing alarm and hint at the failure of the Reserve Bank to monitor the money matter and function as a regulator, simultaneously.. BMS demands that RBI be relieved from duties as regulator and an independent mechanism of regulation be devised.
It has been time and again discussed that the real job creation is done by the SMEs and Govt concessions, packages; relaxations go into the kitty of the mighty and powerful. BMS strongly opposes any such efforts to save private operators by extending the packages.
Attempt of the Govt to restructure the insurance sector in general and disinvest LIC is not welcome move. The apathy of the Govt in sorting out the labour issues in Nationalised Banks is an act of neglect. Absence of National Rural Bank and Apex Co-opt Bank has caused a great deal of hindrance. The independent Co-op Commission founded in 2004 has no powers nor has been commissioned. Despite that there has been big rise in the deposit liked insurance premium for the bank deposits the reimbursement is restricted and in the event of calamity the depositor is big loser. The ‘Gramin Banks’ [RRB] have not yet extended the pension to the Employees ,despite Govt direction to implement Award and bring parity with Nationalised Banks.
The provisions of minimum wages made out till this date are quite inadequate and need immediate revision. The effort to jack up the table to bring into play the notions of fair wage and living wage envisaged in the Constitution of India have remained only on papers . Those who draw fair wages are without protection of Trade Unions, thanks to the policies of Govt.
In order to quell the rising sentiment against corruption, recently ‘Lokpal’ is in the debate. However the Govt/semi Govt/PSU Employees are being made subject of this new set of rules. They are already governed by the Article 311 of Constitution and are also governed by their service conditions and CVC as well. BMS demands that they be made subject to only one set of rules. This has created a condition of confrontation.
Without bothering about the risk of repetition we reiterate that BMS stands for unity of Trade Unions and stands for grand front of labour to mend the ways and concurs with the common demands the trade unions across India. But at the same time has faith in dialogue. Hence BMS demands a thorough dialogue on the highest level of Govt on policies and practices.
We again reiterate that the situation of confrontation and deadlock must have to be averted.
Demanding immediate relief to the Labour through the Budget 2012-13

We remain,
Yours Sincerely,


BAIJNATH RAI
General Secretary
BMS
NEW DELHI  16.01.12.

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