BMS demands White Paper on state of economy

AM Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on September 25, 2019

BK Rai

The RSS-affiliated TU says disinvestment will not address unemployment, job loss

The RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh has demanded that the Centre comes up with a White Paper on the status of economy. The BMS will hold a convention of workers of about 900 Public Sector Units (PSUs) on November 15 to protest against the Centre’s disinvestment plans.

Convenor of the BMS’s units in various public sector undertakings BK Rai told BusinessLine that the Centre’s disinvestment plans are not based on any considered view or threadbare study of the situation.

“The Centre should bring out a White Paper on the status of the economy. It should have the correct picture of unemployment and job losses. The Centre should make a team of patriotic economists and policy makers to address this situation. The November 15 convention will give a proper roadmap to the Centre about the current situation in the PSUs,” Rai said.

‘New India’

He said the BMS will work together with the government to create a new India.

“We do not have an obstructionist view towards the issue of disinvestment or FDI. For us, national interest is supreme. If disinvestment is in the national interest, we will welcome it. But in most of the cases since 1991, disinvestment has hampered the interests of the country,” Rai said.

Rai is also in-charge of the mines sector of the largest trade union of the country. The Nagpur-based trade union leader was here to hold discussions with Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi about the situation in the coal sector after the decision to allow 100 per cent FDI in the sector.

“This is our government, too. But we work on the ground. Leaders sitting in Delhi may not know the ground situation. Our duty is to convey to them what is happening on the ground. Workers are agitated over the privatisation of the public sector,” Rai said.

Organisations worried

The conveners of BMS’ public sector units had recently met on the issue of FDI and privatisation.

The organisation is worried about Ministers’ announcements and decisions of the Cabinet about the privatisation of railways, airports and ports, the merger of banks, problems in BSNL, sale of Air India, corporatisation of the Ordnance Factories Board and disinvestment in major public sector companies.

“We will put pressure on the Centre to stop these measures. The Finance Minister had announced the plan to make India a five-trillion-dollar economy. We hope the Centre is not planning to reach that goal by selling public sector enterprises,” Rai said.

Manufacturing sector

He said the Narendra Modi government has not started any major industries that could be showcased among workers and the unemployed youth.

“Creating some jobs in the digital sector is not enough. The Centre should focus on the manufacturing sector. Big, small and medium companies should be encouraged in the country,” he said.

Published on September 26, 2019

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