Economy

RSS-backed BMS calls for regularising contract workers, hiking I-T limit to ₹10 lakh

AM Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on December 20, 2020

In 50-point budgetary demands to FM, the trade union warns against disinvestment

RSS-affiliated trade union Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) has submitted more than 50 suggestions to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for the upcoming Budget. These include the demands to regularise all contractual workers who have completed five years in an establishment, enhancing income tax limit to ₹10 lakh and to stop disinvestment in sectors such as Defence, Railways, shipping and oil.

Hailing the role of MGNREGA in poverty alleviation, the trade union demanded more support to the scheme and asked for an urban edition of it. It demanded that the EPS pension be raised to ₹5,000 per month along with VDA and five per cent increment per annum. The ESI should be “progressively extended” to new sectors like scheme workers etc and in unorganised sector, Government subsidy is required.

Many non-essential and semi-essential sectors such as cinemas, travel and tourism, handloom, sports, transport, hotels, automobiles and export-oriented sectors, have not started to work fully. The Government has to initiate a pandemic unemployment allowance scheme for those who are in need, BMS leaders B Surendran and Binay Kumar Sinha said in a letter to Sitharaman.

Welfare measures

The union asked the Centre to formulate protection measures including equal pay for equal work, minimum wages, financial support etc. especially in PSUs and Government-run departments. “Today majority of the jobs are becoming temporary. So, the requirement of five-year service for gratuity needs to be reduced to one year,” the letter added.

The Sangh-led trade union demanded that a legislation should be brought for various welfare schemes like Ayushman Bharat, and Shrama Yogi Mandhan Yojana, and the budgetary support for such schemes should be enhanced. It urged the Centre to fix Minimum Support Price/Fair Price, which includes cost of production and at least 50 per cent of production cost, to cardamom, coffee, tea, and rubber. “Check uncontrolled imports of cardamom, tea, and rubber. Increase import duties on these products. Allot a special fund for the plantation workers welfare. Formulate a revival plan for sick and closed tea gardens,” the letter added.

It also asked the Centre to regularise the entire contract/outsourced/off-role/casual workers and fixed term employees who completed at least five years. “It needs to be done in a phased manner. Here age and qualification relaxations if needed should be given.”

On PSU disvestment, the union said: “Establish a mutual consultation mechanism before taking policy decisions on critical items like privatisation, corporatisation, and strategic sale and disinvestment of PSUs. It will be better to consult with concerned stakeholders, particularly with BMS and other CTUs. Important sectors like Defence, Railways, shipping and oil sector should be kept away from disinvestment.”

Published on December 20, 2020

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