Pre Budget Consultations with Finance Minister

 

HMS/DEL/          /2016                                                                November 19, 2016

 Hon’ble Minister of Finance,

Government of India,

New Delhi-11001.

Sub: Pre-Budget consultations with Hon’ble Finance Minister on 19th November, 2016 at 16 Hrs.

Ref D.O.No. 10(5)Ec Dn/16 dated November 10, 2016 from Dr. Archana S. Mathur,Senior Adviser, Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India.                                                           

 Respected Sir,

 With reference to the D.O. letter mentioned above, we are submitting suggestions on behalf of Hind Mazdoor Sabha for your kind consideration.

 We would like to draw your kind attention towards the suggestions we gave vide our letter No.HMS/DEL/3/2016 dated January 01, 2016 for the pre-budget meeting for the Union Budget 2015-16 which pertained to nation‘s financial situation, check on employment,  creation of decent jobs, public sector undertakings, foreign direct investment, disinvestment from profit earning public sector undertakings, contract workers, uniform price indexed minimum wage, minimum pension, removal of ceiling on eligibility and payment of Bonus, enhancing quantum of Gratuity, regularization of Scheme Workers, Unorganized Workers Social Security Act, MGNREGA, right to education, Income Tax, National Employment Policy etc but we regret to say that none of our suggestions could find place in Annual Budget proposals for the year 2015-16. However, we are once again suggesting the following Issues to be considered by your good self while presenting the Annual Budget for the year 2016-17.

 Price Rise: Despite assurances by Hon’ble Prime Minister the prices of essential commodities could not be checked which has made common men’s life very difficult. Inflation also is not showing any sign of decline. GDP might have shown some improvement but benefit has not gone to the general masses. Concrete measures be taken to control the price rise, inflation and to make the common man’s life better.

Check of unemployment and creation of decent employment: While introducing new initiative like Digital India, Start Up, Make in India, Skill India, it was assured that these measures will create more employment but the experience shows heavy loss of job with no creation of decent jobs so far. It has resulted in increase of unemployed youth seeking job.

Concrete measures be taken to create more decent job to unemployed youth of the country. Serious thought be given on creation of job as we have seen that it is unemployed, frustrated youth which has been trapped by anti national, terrorist activists for their benefits.

 Public Sector Undertaking: Public Sector Undertakings provides good number of decent jobs but due to ban on new creation of posts since 1991, there had not been any recruitment. People are retiring, work load increasing due to expansion, adoption of new technologies etc. but no fresh recruitment is made on the contrary 3% compulsory surrender of regular post is continuing every year. This may please be reviewed and removed.

 Foreign Direct Investment:  Hind Mazdoor Sabha has never favoured unconditional, unchecked, free induction of Foreign Direct Investment in core industries. Despite our protest the Government has not only introduced Direct foreign Investment in Railways, Defence Production, Banks and other sector but has enhanced the percentage. It may bring some foreign money for the time being but in the long run it will be detrimental to the overall national interest.

 Uniform Price Indexed Minimum Wage: Hind Mazdoor Sabha has demanded a uniform price index linked Minimum Wages based on the recommendations of 15th ILC and in line with Supreme Court Judgement in Raptok case in 1992. At current prices It may be more than Rs.20,000/- p.m. but the Government instead of accepting it, has revised minimum rates of wage vide its notification dt. 1st September, 2016 for unskilled workers in agriculture and centre sphere to Rs.333, 303, 300 per day in A, B and C cities respectively. Whereas the 7th Central Pay Commission has recommended and Government has approved Rs.18000/- as Minimum Wage on the same formula. It should be raised appropriately.

Income Tax: Salaried class is most sincere and honest tax payer. Advance tax is deducted out of their salary with the increased cost of living the exemption limit for salaried class and pensioners should be raised to minimum 5 lakh per annum and fringed benefits like housing,. Medical, education facilities and running allowance in Railway should be exempted from the Income Tax net totally. For senior citizen between 60-65 years the limit should be Rs. 8 Lakh per annum for those between 65 and 80 years of age. It should be Rs.10 Lakh per annum.

 New Pension Scheme: Hind Mazdoor Sabha has been demanding scraping of New  Pension Scheme and reintroducing the old pension scheme to Central or State Government employees  recruited on or after 1.1.2004

 Contract Workers: Because of ban on new creation of posts, compulsory surrender of posts and very complicated procedure for filling up the vacancies, employment of contract workers on perennial nature of job has increased. This issue was discussed in Indian Labour Conference also and it was unanimously decided not to employ contract labour on job of regular nature and to regularize all contact workers engaged on perennial nature job and till their regularization the contact workers should be paid wages, allowances and other benefits at par with their regular counterpart doing the same work. The Hon’ble Supreme Court very recently has pronounced a judgment which prohibits two set of wages for same and similar work performed by casual/contract workers and by regular workers.

 Hind Mazdoor Sabha suggests that contract workers should not be appointed on perennial nature of job. Those employed should be regularized and till their regularization they should be paid pay, allowances and other benefits at par with their regular counterparts

 Right to Education: Effective measures should be taken for smooth implementation of “Right to Education”. As per data of Census 2011 8.4 million children do not go to school even today and more than 7.8 million have to work during their schooling because of financial constraints. It needs immediate corrective measure to be taken by the Government.

 MGNREGA: Scope of MGNREGA be extended to agriculture operation and employment be guaranteed for 200 days a year. Government instead of increasing the budget allocation for MGNREGA   has curtailed the allocation. It should be enhanced adequately.

 Unorganized Workers Social Security: All restrictive provisions based on poverty line in respect of eligibility coverage of schemes under the unorganized Workers Social Security Act 2008 be removed and allocation for National Fund for Unorganized workers be enhanced.

Uniform Minimum Pension Adequate Financial allocation may please be made in the Budget proposal to provide a minimum assured pension of Rs 5000/- per month to all workers it has been a major demand in 12 point Joint Charter of demands submitted by all Central Trade Unions and discussed with your good self as Chairman Committee of Ministers during Joint Meet.

Regularization of Scheme workers: Millions of workers have been engaged under various schemes conducted by Central/States such as Mid Day meal workers. ASHA workers, Shiksah Mitra, ICDS workers, Vidhaya Volunteers etc. The issue of regularization of these employees had been discussed at length as Agenda in 45th ILC and near unanimity on their regularization was achieved in discussion but nothing has been done so far. They should be treated as workers, regularized and appropriate Budget allocation be made for them.

Strict Monitoring of Construction Workers Welfare Fund:  A Construction Workers Welfare Fund is created under Building and other Construction Workers Welfare Act, which is to be utilized for the Welfare of construction workers and their families. Thousand carores of Rupees are collected by the States. The Fund is either not utilized or misutilized. The Hon’ble supreme Court has also shown it’s concern on the issue of misutilization of fund and has advised Ministry of Labour Government of India to ensure that fund is being utilized only for the purpose it has been created for. The situation has not improved so far. Some stringent measures have to be taken.

National Employment Policy: Hind Mazdoor Sabha has been demanding a National Employment Policy since long. Issue was discussed at length in 44th  ILC and  formation of policy was recommended.  It is learnt that the Government has also moved in positive direction but it is to be expedited.

 Budget Allocation for social sector schemes be enhanced: During the current Financial year a drastic cut to the tune of 4.40 lakh Crore was made in allocation of fund for social sector schemes.  It should not only be restored but enhanced adequately.

Senior Citizen Welfare Fund: Decision of creation of a welfare fund for senior citizen was announced by your good self in the last Budget proposal. It has not seen the light of the of the Day. However a decision to divert the “unclaimed fund” of Employees Provident Fund  to the Senior citizen Welfare Fund was taken by the Finance Ministry, Hind Mazdoor Sabha is of the opinion that the fund belongs to workers kept by EPFO as trustee and cannot be used for any purpose other than those it is meant for. The decision be reviewed and revoked. Adequate allocation of fund for senior citizen welfare be made in the Budget for 2016-17.

Labour law reforms:-  Hind Mazdoor Sabha has strongly opposed the Labour laws amendments/New Bills or recodifying 44 Central Labour laws in 4-5 Labour codes in the name of “Labour Reform”. It is nothing but granting free hand for “hire and fire” to the employers. We demand withdrawal of all unilateral amendments.

Minimum wage recommended by 7 CPC:- Hind Mazdoor Sabha demands raising of Minimum wages from Rs. 18000/- P.M to Rs. 26000/- P.M at current prices.

Demonetisation of Rs. 1000/- and Rs. 500 notes:-  Regarding the decision of the Union Government to ban Rs. 1000 and Rs.500 currency notes to control the Black Money we urge the Government to be sensitive, practical towards the genuine suffering of poor masses.  They cannot withdraw their own money even for their daughter’s marriage or for that purpose for medical treatment in Private Hospitals. They don’t have money to purchase vegetable.

 We all know that in India Only 3% cashless transactions are done. The situation cannot be changed overnight. Incidents of death due to heart attack while in queue or due to non availability of treatment at private hospitals or an old woman returning after withdrawal with her daughter whose marriage was fixed, the other day meets with an accident and dies, a groom in queue on the day of marriage just to withdraw Rs.2000/- should not be discarded                                                                                                                    as “it all happened earlier also when notes were banned in 1946 or in 1978” or by Issuing statement like “we have to sacrifice something to see Acchey Din”.

We request your goodself to ensure that the Government should not take such incidents in casual manner, should be sensitive, practical and be able to foresee the situation.

Payment of Salary in Cash: The Government has issued another order allowing only Group C and D Central or State Government employees to take Rs.10000/- Salary advance for this month’s salary.

Why only Group C & D employees, Why not others?

Why advance, why not payment of full Salary in Cash and What about millions of other working people?

Hind Mazdoor Sabha strongly demands to ensure payment of Salary for the month of November 2016 in cash for the entire working class. The Government should not wait for protests and causalities and then revising its decision, should not be rigid, reluctant or arrogant on the contrary we expect Government to be more matured, practical, helpful and sensitive to prevent any untoward incidents.

 Since from 2016-17 budget for Railways will also be taken care of in the union Annual Budget. We suggest the following:-

  • Income Tax Ceiling in respect of running allowance be enhanced from Rs. 10000 to 30000 keeping in view the increase of consumer price index.
  • Adequate allotment of funds for the following –

a)    Proper infrastructure and man power whenever new trains are introduced, for construction and maintenance of Railway Quarters and auxiliary facilities for the staff.

b)    Adequate financial support to IRWO for construction of houses for Railway staff.

c)    Adequate fund for renewal of Railway tracks, Bridges, electrification, signalling and interlocking, construction of ROBs to Minimize Railway Crossing, unmanned level crossing and other Railway infrastructure.

d)    Enhancement of fund allocation for staff amenities per capita increase from Rs. 500 to Rs. 1000 for staff welfare. 

e)    Implementation of “own your house scheme” announced by former Hon’ble Railway Minister with collaboration of urban Development Ministry and Technical institutions for the benefit of wards of the Railway Employees.

  • Expeditious completion of all pending, incomplete Railway projects wh allocating sufficient funds.
  • Payment of all allowances w.ef 1.1.2016 with improvement in minimum wage and

Fitment formula from 6th CPC to 7th CPC - Pay scale. 

  • Fixed Medical allowance to retired employees be enhanced from Rs. 500 P.M to at least Rs. 2000/- P.M .

We earnestly request your goodself to kindly consider our suggestions and incorporate them in your Budget proposal for the year 2016-17.

With regards,

                                                                                                                   Yours faithfully,

 (Harbhajan Singh Sidhu)

  General Secretary

 *****************************

INTUC              AITUC                    HMS                CITU                        AIUTUC

TUCC                          SEWA                 AICCTU                UTUC                      LPF

 

Dated 19.11.2016

The Hon’ble Minister of Finance

Government of India

North Block,

New Delhi, 110 001                 

 

Sub:    Trade unions view point on issues to be considered for framing budget for the year 2017-18

Sir,                                      

At the beginning, once again, we request that instead of a ritualistic exercise, to make the meeting meaningful, the proposals put forward by the trade unions in the joint memorandum should find place in the budget proposals.

Instead of going for any new issues, we reiterate the 12 point demands of the working people submitted earlier to the government. Please recall, your good-self, being the Chairman of the GoM, had inconclusive discussions with all the central trade unions in August 2015 and All India General Strike on 2nd September, 2015 could not be avoided. Unfortunately the same have not been resumed in spite of requests made by the Central Trade Unions. Under such compulsion trade unions had to resort to All India General Strike on 2nd September, 2016.

We express our deep concern over the difficulties being faced by the common people especially the daily wage earners due to demonetization of Rs.500/- and Rs.1000/-currency notes and urge the Govt. to take urgent steps to ameliorate their difficulties.

Without depending too much on foreign investment for growth and development of the national economy, the Government should concentrate on raising internal resources by taxing the rich who have financial capacity to pay. Budget allocation on social sector and basic services like health, education and so on must be sufficiently increased, let alone any reduction. The Govt must take firm measures to contain deliberate tax-default by the big business and corporate lobby leading to huge accumulation of unpaid direct tax due, which is increasing every successive year.

The issues with direct bearing on the economic policies of the Govt. and budget exercise are put hereunder:

1.         Minimum Wage: Minimum Wage linked to Consumer Price Index must be guaranteed to all workers, taking into consideration the recommendations of the 15th Indian Labour Conference and further enriched by the Apex Court by an add on of 25%. The entire formulation was again unanimously reiterated by 43rd Indian Labour Conference. Based on the same, the 7th CPC has worked out the minimum wage of Rs.18000/- per month. Therefore, the minimum wage should not be less than Rs.18000/- per month. Need-based minimum wage is to be considered as essential part of social security. Unfortunately ignoring the well established norms, the Govt. has proposed minimum wage of Rs.9,100/- p.m. for workers of C-Class Cities, that too only for the workers in the central sphere, leaving the majority rest without any increase. The trade unions have not accepted the same.

2.         Price Rise: Take effective measures to arrest the spiraling price rise especially of food and essential items of daily use. Ban speculative forward trading in essential commodities, check on hoarding and universalise and strengthen Public Distribution System.

3.         Public Sector: PSUs should be strengthened and expanded under PSU frame work fully. Disinvestment of shares of profit making PSUs should be stopped. Budgetary support should be provided for revival of potentially viable sick PSUs. Unfortunately, the Govt. has resorted to strategic selling of even profit making PSUs and outright closure of so called sick units. The CTUs are also opposed to the proposed Transport Safety Bill as it paves a way for privatization of state owned public transport system

4.         Relentless and increasing flow of import of industrial commodities including capital goods must be contained and regulated to prevent dumping and also to protect and promote domestic industries and prevent loss of employment. 

5.         FDI: FDI should not be allowed in crucial sectors like Defence Production, Railways, Financial Sector, Retail Trade and other strategic sectors. The Govt. on the other hand, has allowed 100% FDI in these sectors including Pharmaceuticals.

6.         Employment Generation: Over the past two years, the employment generation has been the least. We reiterate massive public investment be made in infrastructure and social sectors to generate more employment in order to arrest mounting unemployment. All vacancies of sanctioned posts in Govt departments, PSUs and autonomous institutions should be filled up through fresh recruitment. Ban on creation of new posts should be lifted; practice of surrendering / abolition of posts should be done away with.

7.         The scope of MGNREGA be extended to agriculture operations and urban areas as well and employment for minimum period of 200 days with guaranteed statutory wage be provided, as unanimously recommended by 43rd Session of Indian Labour Conference. The drastic cut already inflicted on the MNREGA allocation should be made goodand enhanced.

8.(a)    The massive workforce engaged in ICDS, Mid-day meal scheme, Vidya volunteers, Guest Teachers, Shiksha Mitra, the workers engaged in the Accredited Social Health Activities (ASHA) and other schemes be regularized. No to privatization of centrally funded schemes. Budget allocation should not be drastically cut as done in last year; it should be substantially increased. Universalisation of ICDS be done as per Supreme Court directions by making adequate budgetary allocations. The scheme workers should at least be given status of workers with attendant benefits as already recommended by the 45th Session of ILC till such time they are regularized.

(b)       Domestic work continues to be uncertain and invisible. To create a support system for domestic workers, a central law requires to be enacted.

9.         Unorganised Workers Social Security: Steps be taken for removal of all restrictive provisions based on poverty line in respect of eligibility coverage of the schemes under the Unorganised Workers Social Security Act 2008 and allocation of adequate resources for the National Fund for Unorganised Workers to provide for Social Security to all unorganized workers including the contract/casual and migrant workers

            The States which have not framed rules under the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act be asked to frame such rules and allocate funds for developing the Street Vending as livelihood models.

            The cess management of construction workers in the Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board be made the responsibility of Ministry of Finance to ensure its proper collection and utilization.

10.(a)  Income Tax exemption:- ceiling for the salaried persons and pensioners should be raised to Rs.5 lakh per annum. All perks and fringe benefits like housing, medical and educational facilities and running allowances in Railways should be exempted from the income tax net in totality.

(b)       The ceiling of amount of Gratuity under the Payment of Gratuity Act be raised to Rs.20 lacs w.e.f. 1.1.2016 as done in the case of Central Govt.employees.

11.(a)  Threshold limit of 20 employees in EPF Scheme be brought down to 10. Govt. and Employers contribution be increased to allow sustainability of Employees Pension Scheme and for provision of minimum pension of Rs.3000/- p.m. Proposal for introducing option in PF and ESI made in 2015-16 budget be dropped. Notification issued for utilization of money in “inoperative” EPF accounts for Senior Citizen Welfare Fund be withdrawn; decision to invest EPF fund in stock/equity market be scrapped.

(b)       Pension to All-All workers be paid pension and the same be construed as deferred wage.

12.       New Pension Scheme be withdrawn and newly recruited employees of central and state Govts on or after 1.1.2004 be covered under Old Pension Scheme.

13.       Labour Law Reforms: The process of labour law reforms being pursued  by the Govt. to provide for  unhindered “hire and fire”  and  for pushing the majority of workers outside the purview and protection of most of the labour laws--all for ensuring so called ease of doing business be stopped. No labour law amendment be undertaken without the consent of trade unions and workers who are the main stake holders and also the most affected.

14.       7th Central Pay Commission: The Central Govt. employees demand for raising of minimum wage and consequent revision of implementation factor which is said to be under consideration of a Committee be resolved at the earliest.

15.       Contract/Casual workers should not be deployed on jobs of perennial nature. Till regularisation these workers should be paid the same wages and benefits as paid to regular workers doing the same and similar type of work as has been reiterated by Hon’ble Supreme Court of India recently.

16.       There being no separate Railway Budget this time the Annual Budget must take care of this crucial public and goods transport service in the country to be made more effective, accessible and affordable to all people through increased budgetary allocation for expeditious completion of pending expansion and track renewal projects, urgent long pending demands of the Railway employees like enhancement of ceiling in respect of running allowance for tax exemption, housing scheme etc should be considered. No privatization and 100% FDI in Railways.

To re-emphasise our serious concern:

We oppose the desperate anti worker measure of changing labour laws by the central as well as some state Govts. The Govt. should take steps for initiating discussion and resolving the 12 point charter of demands.

We repeat with sorrow that none of the suggestions made by us collectively in the last pre budget meetings have got any positive reflection in the previous budgets. Rather drastic cut to the tune of Rs., 4.40 lakh crores was made in the allocation of funds for social sector schemes in the last budget. This drastic cut needs to be restored and covered up.

We would therefore request that at least this time due and proper consideration is given to the points raised above while framing budget for 2017-18

With regards,

 

Yours sincerely.

 

Sd/-                 Sd/-                 Sd/-                 Sd/-                 Sd/

INTUC             AITUC             HMS                CITU               AIUTUC

 

Sd/-                 Sd/-                 Sd/-                 Sd/-                 Sd/-

TUCC              SEWA             AICCTU          UTUC              LPF

********************************

HMS/DEL/           /2016                                                                       January     01, 2016

Dr. Archana S. Mathur,

Senior Advisor, Govt. Of India

Ministry of Finance,

Department of Economic Affairs,

New Delhi-110001.

 

Sub: Pre Budget consultations with Hon’ble Finance Minister on 4th January, 2016 at 3 P.M. to 5 P.M.

Ref:  Your D.O.No.10(4)/ECDN/15, December 28, 2015.

Dear Madam,

With reference to your D.O. letter mentioned above we are submitting suggestions for consideration of Hon’ble Finance Minister, Government of India:

Financial situation: Sky rocketing prices of essential commodities have made the life of a common man miserable millions are not able to manage two end meals.

Inflation is also on increase, GDP might have shown a slight improvement but the living conditions of common citizen have not improved. Concrete measures should be taken immediately to seize the price rise.

Check on Employment and creation of Decent Jobs:- NDA in its political manifesto assured to control unemployment by generating Decent Jobs but the ground reality is that no jobs are being created by the Government.

Public Sector Undertaking:- Public Sector Undertakings and Government Offices are the best providers of Decent Job. You are aware Sir, there exists a ban on new creation of post in both the vital segments of the economy since 1991 despite manifold increase of work load due to expansion and adoption of new technology. It has resulted in significant increase of employment of informal contract/casual workers on perennial nature of work at very low remuneration with no job security and social security. On the contrary there is 3% compulsory surrender of regular post every year in Government. This may please be reviewed and removed.  

Foreign Direct Investment: Hind Mazdoor Sabha has been opposing Foreign Direct Investment in core sectors and strategically important sector like Railway, Defence, Insurance, Finance etc. The present Government has introduced 100% FDI in Railways, enhanced it from 26% to 49% in Defence, Insurance and Banking and has decided to introduce it in 15 other sectors including construction. It should be stopped.

Disinvestment from Profit Earning Public Sector Undertakings: We are opposed to disinvestment from Public Sector Undertakings. It should be stopped.

National Minimum Wage-: We have been demanded a National Minimum Wage based on recommendation of 15th ILC and the guide lines of Hon’ble Supreme Court. The matter has been discussed in ILC which approved it unanimously on this have linked with price index and we have demanded minimum wage of Rs.15,000/-p.m. Latter on a National Floor Level Minimum Wage of Rs.137 was declared which was enhanced recently to Rs.160 per day. 

May I invite your kind attention to a meeting of Central Trade Union Leaders with the Inter Ministerial Group headed by your good self on 29-30//8/2015 wherein your good self agreed to a Minimum Wage of Rs.9500/- p.m. for A class cities,Rs.8500 for B and Rs.7100 for C Class cities. It was not acceptable to us because it was less than Rs 15000 P.M Price Index linked. The same may be reconsidered as per Recommendations of 7th Central Pay Commission which has recommended rupees 18000 (Eighteen thousand only) per month on the same formula. The same may be granted to all workers.

Contract Workers: We would like to draw your kind attention towards the fact that because of ban on creation of new post, compulsory surrender of certain percentage of regular post and a very complicated procedure for filling up the vacancies, employment of informal worker on perennial jobs has increased. It is generally done through Contractor. About the Contract Workers had been discussed in Indian Labour Conferences also. It was also unanimously decided not to appoint contract labour on jobs of regular nature. Hind Mazdoor Sabnha demands that all contract workers be regularized and till their regularization, they should be paid salary and all other benefits at par with their counterparts doing same work in the same industry. 

7th Central Pay Commission: - Chairman 7th Central Pay Commission has submitted the report to Government for approval and implementation; sorry to say that 7th C.P.C has not considered the demands raised by National Joint Committee of Action. They have already submitted their reactions on the recommendations. We are of the view that the Government will consider the genuine demands of the Central Government employees and will make necessary provisions in the forth coming Budget.

Minimum Pension:- We have been demanding assured Minimum Pension of Rs.5000 p.m. to all. It is one of the major demands of 12 point Charter of Demands jointly submitted by all Central Trade Unions to the Government and discussed with Inter Ministerial Group under your Chairmanship during 29-30 August, 2015.

Removal of Ceiling :- Removal of all ceilings on eligibility and Payment of   Bonusand increase in quantum of Gratuity. The Government has increased only the limit in both the cases for Bonus which is also not satisfactory. Since there is no ceiling on profit, there should not be any ceiling on eligibility or amount of payment of Bonus.

Regularization of Scheme Workers: Millions of workers are engaged by Centre / State Governments under various welfare schemes such as Mid Day Meals, ASHA Workers, Shiksha Mitra, ICDS, Vidhya Volunteers etc. they should be regularized as recommended in 45th ILC. We also demand universialization of ICDS as per Supreme Court directions by making adequate budget allocations.

Unorganized Work Social Security Act :- Removal of all restrictive provisions based on poverty line in respect of eligibility, coverage of schemes under unorganized workers, social security Act 2008 and adequate fund allocation for providing National Social Security to all unorganized workers.

MGNREGA: Scope of MGNREGA be extended to agriculture operations and employment for minimum period of 200 days with guaranteed statutory wage, be provided as unanimously recommended by 43 ILC.

Right to Education :- For effective implementation of “Right to Education” the budget allocation for elementary education appropriately be increased. It was not done in the present financial year.

Income Tax : Our demand for enhancing the exemption limit of Income Tax for salaried people to Rs.5 lakh per annum and also to exempt all fringe benefits like housing, medical, educational facilities and running allowance has not been conceded. We once again repeat the same.

v  The system of computation of Consumer Price Index should be revised.

Improper/Mismanagement of CESS Fund: Your good self may be aware that the contractors engaged in construction work have to pay a CESS which constitutes a fund which is maintained by Building and other Construction Workers Welfare Boards to be constituted at State level. The fund is to be utilized for the welfare activities conducted for construction workers and their families but the same is not being utilized properly more than 47000 crore is available. It is either not utilized or misutilized or utilized for political motives. The Apex Court has taken a serious note of it and showed its concern. Steps be taken for proper utilization of the above fund.

 

National Employment Policy: - Hind Mazdoor Sabha has demanded A National Employment policy of the Government be declared which will help in employment Generation and Decent work conditions. The issue was discussed in 44th ILC as well and Formation of National Employment policy was recommended.   

 

In addition to the above the points raised in Joint 12 Point Charter of Demands submitted by all Central Trade Unions not mentioned above also be addressed.

 

We also propose that Finance Minister should have another round of discussion with Central Trade Unions after presenting the Budget for review and to know their reaction on Budget proposals.

With kind regards and Hearty New Year Greetings.

 

 

                                                                                                  Yours sincerely

        Harbhajan Singh Sidhu

                                                                                                General Secretary  

 *********************************************************************

 

 

 

Dated 4.1.2016

The Hon’ble Minister of Finance

Government of India

North Block,

New Delhi, 110 001                     

 

Sub:     Trade unions view point on issues to be considered for framing budget for the year 2016-17

Sir,

It has been an established practice over the years to convene a meeting of trade unions by the Ministry of Finance in the name of the pre-budget consultations. Unfortunately, it has been found that none of the suggestions given to the Government by the trade unions have ever been accepted. It has become a ritual to call trade unions for such meetings.

 

We, the Central Trade Unions instead of raising several issues, will concentrate mainly on 12 point demands of the working people submitted earlier to the government and on which your goodself being the Chairman of GoM had inconclusive discussions in August last year. Unfortunately the same have not been resumed inspite of requests made by the Central Trade Unions.

 

While framing the forthcoming budget, we reiterate and request that the Government instead of depending on foreign funds for growth and development of the national economy should concentrate on raising internal resources for funding the developmental schemes and welfare programmes and by taxing those who have capacity to pay instead of drastically reducing the allocations on social sector and basic services like health, education etc. The Govt must take firm measures to contain deliberate tax-default by the big business and corporate lobby leading to huge accumulation of unpaid direct tax dues.

 

Details of the issues which have direct bearing on the economic policies of the Govt. are as under:

 

1.         Minimum Wage: Minimum Wage linked to Consumer Price Index must be guaranteed to all workers, taking into consideration the recommendations of the 15th Indian Labour Conference and further enriched by the Apex Court by an add on of 25%. The entire formulation was again unanimously reiterated by 43rd Indian Labour Conference. Based on the same, the 7th CPC has worked out the minimum wage of Rs.18000/- per month. Therefore, the minimum wage should not be less than Rs.18000/- per month. Needbased minimum wage is to be considered as essential part of social security.

 

2.         Price Rise: Take effective measures to arrest the spiraling price rise especially of food and essential items of daily use. Ban speculative forward trading in essential commodities, check on hoarding and universalise and strengthen Public Distribution System.

 

3.         Public Sector: PSU should be strengthened and expanded. Disinvestment of shares of profit making PSUs should be stopped. Budgetary support should be provided for revival of potentially viable sick PSUs.

4.         Relentless and increasing flow of import of industrial commodities including capital goods must be contained and regulated to prevent dumping and also to protect and promote domestic industries and prevent loss of employment. 

 

5.         FDI: FDI should not be allowed in crucial sectors like defence production, Railways, financial sector, retail trade and other strategic sectors. In other areas, terms and conditions for FDI should be made public.

 

6.         Employment Generation: Massive public investment be made in infrastructure structure and social sectors to generate more employment in order to arrest mounting unemployment. All vacancies of sanctioned posts in Govt departments, PSUs and autonomous institutions should be filled up through fresh recruitment. Ban on creation of new posts should be lifted; practice of surrendering / abolition of posts should be done away with.

 

7.         The scope of MGNREGA be extended to agriculture operations and urban areas as well and employment for minimum period of 200 days with guaranteed statutory wage be provided, as unanimously recommended by 43rd Session of Indian Labour Conference. The drastic cut already inflicted on the MNREGA allocation should be made good and restored.

 

8.         The massive workforce engaged in ICDS, Mid-day meal scheme, Vidya volunteers, Guest Teachers, Shiksha Mitra, the workers engaged in the Accredited Social Health Activities (ASHA) and other schemes be regularized. No to privatization of centrally funded schemes. Budget allocation should not be drastically cut as done in last year; it should be substantially increased. Universalisation of ICDS be done as per Supreme Court directions by making adequate budgetary allocations. The scheme workers should at least be given status of workers with attendant benefits as already recommended by the 45th Session of ILC.

 

9.         Unorganised Workers Social Security: Steps be taken for removal of all restrictive provisions based on poverty line in respect of eligibility coverage of the schemes under the Unorganised Workers Social Security Act 2008 and allocation of adequate resources for the National Fund for Unorganised Workers to provide for Social Security to all unorganized workers including the contract/casual and migrant workers

 

            State Govts be asked to frame rules under the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act and allocate funds for developing the Street Vending as livelihood models.

 

            Proper management of Cess under construction workers welfare fundS be also ensured.

 

10.       Income Tax exemption:- ceiling for the salaried persons and pensioners should be raised to Rs.5 lakh per annum and fringe benefits like housing, medical and educational facilities and running allowances in Railways should be exempted from the income tax net in totality.

 

11.       Threshold limit of 20 employees in EPF Scheme be brought down to 10. Govt. and Employers contribution be increased to allow sustainability of Employees Pension Scheme and for provision of minimum pension of Rs.3000/- p.m. Proposal for introducing option in PF and ESI made in the last year’s Budget should be dropped.

 

12.       New Pension Scheme be withdrawn and newly recruited employees of central and state govts on or after 1.1.2004 be covered under Old Pension Scheme.

 

13.       Labour Law Reforms: The process of labour law reforms being pursued  by the Govt. to provide for  unhindered “hire and fire”  and  for pushing the majority of workers outside the purview and protection of most of the labour laws--all for ease of doing business be stopped. No labour law amendment be undertaken without the consent of trade unions and workers who are the main stake holders and also the most affected.

 

14.       7th Central Pay Commission: The Govt. must discuss the issues raised by National Joint Council of Action of Central Govt. employees and other organisations before taking any decision on the recommendations of Central 7th Pay Commission. The issues of minimum wage quantification, lowering of rates of some allowances and abolition of some others have wider ramifications and therefore require corrective measures.

 

15.       Contract/Casual workers should not be deployed on jobs of perennial nature. Till regularization these workers should be paid the same wages and benefits as paid to regular workers doing the same work.

 

OUR SERIOUS CONCERN:

 

We oppose the hectic measures of changing labour laws by the central as well as some state govts. The Govt. besides taking steps for initiating discussion 12 point charter, should also make provision in the Budget for revival and rehabilitation of MSMEs in Tamilnadu which have been destroyed due to floods. Provision should also be made for rehabilitation of affected workers.

It is unfortunate that none of the suggestions made by us collectively in 17th January, 2015 pre-budget consultation meeting were included in 2015-16 budget. Rather drastic cut to the tune of Rs.4.40 lakh crores was made in the allocation of funds for social sector schemes. This drastic cut needs to be restored and covered up.

With regards,

                                                            Yours sincerely,

 

 

BMS             INTUC                AITUC                 HMS                       CITU

 

 

AIUTUC         TUCC         SEWA       AICCTU            UTUC            LPF

 

 

Copyright © 2014 Hind Mazdoor Sabha | All Rights Reserved. by Pointer Soft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.