Trade Unions in the country have resolved to intensify their struggle against the decision of the Narendra Modi led Bharatiya Janata Party government at the center to disinvest and privatise 100 public sector enterprises to raise money. This decision throws light upon the privatisation goals of the Modi government, the Trade Unions have observed. All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) has said that it ‘deplores the policies of the BJP Govt. at the centre of selling out of national assets and natural resources to the Indian & Foreign Corporations.’
This angst shown by the Trade Unions is not a misplaced one as in a recent webinar both the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, themselves declared that the government goal is to achieve privatisation.
Sitharaman explained the “ease of business” rhetoric and stated that strategic or non-strategic all sectors are in their list of privatisation. AITUC notices this hankering for privatisation reflects on the genealogy of the BJP. In its statement criticising the policies of the BJP government the Trade Union has said, ‘True to its policies of sell out the PM re-iterated the mind set of Bhartiya Jansangh Party the earlier Avtar of Bhartiya Janta Party, who had opposed the policy of public investments in nation building, in explorations, scientific research & innovations, power generation and distribution, job creations, and social sector spending in education, health, water resources, sanitation etc. The policies of self reliance (Atma nirbharta) were opposed by their leaders saying that ‘Government has no business to do business.’’
It is ironic that the policies of the government that gave a call for self reliance, would encourage and cause dependence.
The three infamous farm laws of the central government explains the true intentions of the central government. The intention is to put the futures of the farmers of this country in the hands of the monopoly corporations. Privatisation of national assets also benefits the monopoly corporations. The Trade Unions observe policies like the codification of labour laws, reduced taxation of corporations and increased taxation of common man are the few ways in which the government is fulfilling the demands of the corporations, especially the duo- Adonis and Ambanis.
The budgetary allocation for education, health, water resources, sanitation and MGNREGA has decreased if one considers the inflation factor into account. Petrol & diesel price rise is impacting the rise in prices of all essential commodities touching all aspects of life.
The wage cuts are being carried and those who lost jobs due to sudden lock down, did not get wages of the period & almost half of them are not given their jobs back. Medium, small and micro enterprises almost 50 percent of them have fully lost their capacity to re-start. Unemployment is rising and job generation is lacking. This is the gloomy environment where recession has come to stay due to pro-corporate anti-people policies of the Government.
While the people were facing extreme livelihood issues, on the other side the 100 billionaires of India increased their wealth by 12 percent during this period whereas 50 percent Indians were pushed to severe livelihood issues. As per International Labour Organisation (ILO) 40 Crore Indians will be pushed to more poverty. On the other hand, Ambanis who were 14th in the international list of rich persons prior to lock down came to acquire 11th position in April and then to the position among 5 top rich families by the month of June-July-2021.
The Trade Unions have noted that any opposition to the government policies are dubbed anti national and those questioning are jailed under Sedition Act, UAPA and NIA etc. The misuse of CBI, ED and other departments to stifle the voices of opposition is in rampant use.
Several Trade Unions across the country have given a call for strikes in protest against the privatisation and corporatisation drive of this government. Several Bank Unions have given a call for strike on March 15 and 16, 2021, opposing privatisation in the finance sector; On March 17, 2021 general insurance companies’ and on March 18, 2021 the life insurance companies’ Unions have given their calls for strikes. The joint platform of Central Trade Unions (CTUs) and Samyakta Kisan Morcha (SKM) have come out in support of these strikes and is observing March 15, 2021 as “Anti-privatisation day, Anti Corporatisation Day”
The trade unions also decided to observe a three days campaign March 24-26, 2021 against the policies of assaults on workers & farmers rights. SKM has given a call for Bharat bandh day on March 26, 2021. The trade unions that have consistently stood in support and solidarity with all the action programmes called by Kisan organisations will be supporting SKM’s call for Bharat Bandh.
Following is the Fact Sheet that the Trade Unions have released and circulated to inform the current situation of India’s economy:
From 2014 to 2021 where have we reached in Price rise Situation
Diesel from Rs. 20 to Rs. 90 +
Petrol from Rs. 60 to Rs. 100 +
LPG Cylinder form Rs. 414 to Rs. 819
Daal from Rs. 70-80 to Rs. 120-650
Desi-ghee from Rs. 350 to 550
Milk from Rs. 36 to Rs.56
Mustard oil from Rs. 52 to Rs. 150
Railway Platform ticket from Rs. 5 to Rs. 50
Local trains commuting in major cities & suburbs of India almost double the rate.
Essential commodity Prices are rising & hunger index has reached 102 among 117 Countries.
The total deposits in banks today is 146 lakh crores. The loot of People’s money goes on. The Non Performing Assets, (NPA’s) written off more than 6 lakh in last 6 years. 36 business houses ran away with people’s money as informed in the Parliament.
In 2018-2019 alone it is 2,36,265 crores amount written off
In 2019-2020 it is 2,34,170 crore amount written off
In 2020-2021 in Nine Months already it has reached to 1,15,038 crores amount written off.
In the total of “Jandhan Khata” beneficiaries 41.75 crores people Role of Public Sector Banks was in opening accounts of 40.50 crores people.
The Private sector banks opened only for 1.25 crores People.
Most of the Social welfare schemes of the govt. are implemented by the Public Sector Banks. Hence people’s money belongs to people.