BMS expressed disappointment over their own government’s budget proposals
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) – aligned trade union – Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) – expressed disappointment over their own government’s budget proposals about disinvestment and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), especially in the insurance sector. The BMS, however, lauded the government for its current efforts on the massive vaccination programme, a special scheme for tea workers in West Bengal and Assam, labour oriented push on infrastructure projects in construction sector and development of five major fishing harbours viz. Kochi, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Paradip, and Petuaghat as hubs for economic activities, etc.
On other budget proposals, it said in a statement that “mixing the beautiful concept of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat with FDI and disinvestment in the Union Budget is disappointing for the employees.” Government’s proposals to amend Insurance Act to increase FDI in insurance sector from 49 per cent to 74 per cent, as well as relaxation of foreign investments in the infrastructure sector, will increase foreign dependence and should be reconsidered, the BMS suggested.
New efforts on mega textile parks, major fishing harbours etc, are welcome moves, but there is no support to crores of existing workers and fishers in such sectors, said BMS in a statement.
Aggressive disinvestment programmes like divesting two public sector banks (PSBs) and one general insurance company, taking Life Insurance Company (LIC) public (IPO), asking NITI Aayog to list out new companies for disinvestment, approving disinvestment in non-strategic and strategic sectors, railway scheme for corporatisation, monetising for 12 lakh crores government assets like land to address fiscal deficit, public-private partnerships etc, will reduce the charm of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat and benefits of some good proposals in the budget, it opined. Many feel that the government will sell Indian Overseas Bank and Punjab and Sindh Bank, which are financially weak.
New efforts on mega textile parks, major fishing harbours etc, are welcome moves, but there is no support to crores of existing workers and fishers in such sectors, said BMS in a statement. “None of the demands raised by the BMS and other trade unions has been incorporated in the budget except a special scheme for tea workers in West Bengal and Assam, thus making the consultation processes a mockery,” said BMS expressing displeasure on Finance Ministry’s pre-budget discussions.
There is no increase in the much-expected Employees’ Pension Scheme 95 (EPS) pension amount or medical scheme for pensioners as demanded by BMS, it stated. The BMS has demanded Rs.5,000 as minimum EPS (Employees Provident Scheme) pension and linking it with inflation. BMS demands more support to MGNREGA and urban employment guarantee scheme. “Women workers are being compelled to do the night shift. There are no income tax reliefs in spite of the adverse effect of the pandemic situation whereas corporate tax is reduced,” it also pointed out.
“There is no concrete proposal to boost up the demand side like increasing wages or basic income of workers. Thus the ‘economic vaccine‘ claimed is more harmful than the disease. Such proposals will not be able to increase the growth trajectory or reduce the fiscal deficit in the fiscal year,” it added. The action plans on Budget 2021 will be decided after a detail discussion at the National Executive Council Meetings of BMS to be held at Chennai from February 12-14, 2021, as per the BMS statement.
[With inputs from PTI]
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