Sunday, 31 December 2017

Wish you & your family a happy, healthy, peaceful, purposeful, successful, safe, energetic and productive New Year.

May this new year bring many opportunities your way, to explore every joy of life and may your resolutions for the days ahead stay firm, turning all your dreams into reality and all your efforts into great achievements.

May this New Year give the courage to triumph over your vices and embrace the virtues.
May you get succeed in the year 2018 and achieve all your goals you have set.

May you stand up for your own rights this New Year and also the rights of fellow human beings,may nothing stop you from championing a cause that you hold close to your heart.

May you get everything you want in the New Year and overcome your difficulties of the past year.

This new year take a plunge into the ocean of hope and optimism and free yourself from all your grudges,sadness.

As this year is ending,I wish all the negativity and difficulties also end with this year and 2018 bring success and desired results for us.

आप सभी को नववर्ष की हार्दिक शुभकामनाये
नया साल आपके लिये मंगलमय हो !!

గతమంతా గుణపాఠాల నిధి, నూతన సంవత్సరం కొత్త ప్రణాళికలకు పునాది
ఈ నూతన సంవత్సరంలో
మీ ఆశలు, ఆశయాలు నెరవేరాలని;
సంతోషాలు, సంబరాలు మీ ముంగిట నిలవాలని;
బంధాలు, అనుబంధాలు పెంపొందాలని
మనస్ఫూర్తిగా కోరుకుంటూ...
మీకూ, మీ కుటుంబ సభ్యులకు నూతన సంవత్సర శుభాకాంక్షలు.
ప్రకృతిని ప్రేమిద్దాం, పర్యావరణాన్ని పరిరక్షిద్దాం.

All India DRDO Technical Officers' Association (AIDTOA)
Affiliated to Confederation of Central Government Gazetted Officers' Organisations (CCGGOO)

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Right to peaceful protest is a constitutional right and right to assemble and demonstrate by holding dharnas is the basic features of an effective democratic system.

                       Article 19 of the Indian Constitution is one of the most important article constituting the “basic freedoms” guaranteed to every citizen of India.  Article 19(1) provides that all citizens shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression, assembly, associations, movement, residence and practicing any trade, business, occupation or profession.  Article 19(1)(b) guarantees to all citizens of India, rights to “assemble peacefully and without arms”.  This right includes the right to hold meetings and take out processions.  Of course, assembly must be peaceful, harmonious,unarmed and not threatening the safety of the people. Reasonable restrictions can be imposed under clause(3) of Article 19.
                   The right to assembly embodies the very idea of a democratic system.  Article 19 (1)(b) thus includes the right to hold meetings and to take out  processions.  It has been reviewed, studied and interpreted numerous times by the Supreme Court.  In its judgments Supreme Court has upheld the right to peaceful protest as a constitutional right and the right to assemble and demonstrate by holding dharnas is the basic feature of democratic system.  People in a democracy have a right to raise their voices against the decisions and unreasonable actions of the Government or to express their opinion in any subject of national importance.  The Government is obliged to respect and encourage the exercise of such rights.

                   This being the position, the political powers have resorted to the use of authoritation powers to stop the Central Government employees and Officers from exercising their constitutional right of conducting peaceful dharnas and demonstrations.

If it weren’t for the Union

Our union’s story is there to be seen,
We’ve won many victories and we’ve suffered defeats,
But as I turn through the pages and look back through time,
There’s one single question stands out in my mind -
Today we may prosper, today we live free,
But if it weren’t for the union, where would we be?

From it’s humble beginnings our union has grown,
So no working person need struggle alone.
But no gain that’s been made has been made without cost,
And together we’ll see that no gain’s ever lost;
Take a look at those countries where workers aren’t free-
If it weren’t for the union, where would we be?

Would you choose to go back, working twelve hours a day,
Would you choose to toil more and a pittance be paid?
Will you stand in the union against the new right,
or do you think on your own you can withstand their might?
The answer is written in our history,
If it weren’t for the union, where would we be?

They say we’ve got problems, and the unions they blame,
Well, Franco and Pinochet they said the same.
If our union they weaken, if our union they break,
Then where’s our defence from becoming enslaved?
So would you choose bondage above liberty?
And if it weren’t for the union, where would we be?

It’s our union, our union that defends our rights,
But our union is as strong as our will is to fight,
For the union is you and the union is me,
So stand up and stand by our union.
                                                 - Peter Hicks and Geoff Francis.


                Seventh Central Pay Commission Chairman, Justice (Retired) Ashok Kumar Mathur in his foreword to 7th CPC Report has quoted the following lines in the case of Bhupendra Nath Hazarika and another Versus State of Assam & others wherein the Supreme Court of India has observed as follows:
                   “It should always be borne in mind that legitimate aspirations of the employees are not guillotined and a situation is not created where hopes end in despair.  Hope for every one is gloriously precious and that a model employer should not convert it to be deceitful and treacherous.....  A sense of calm sensibility and concerned sincerity should be reflected at every step.  An atmosphere of trust has to prevail and when the employees are absolutely sure that their trust shall not be betrayed and they shall be treated with dignified fairness, then only the concept of good governance can be concretized.  We say no more.”
                   We don’t know whether the powers-that-be at the helm of affairs of the Central Government has ever read the above observations of the Apex Court quoted by 7th CPC.  Fact remains - the Government has guillotined the legitimate aspirations of the Central Government employees and pensioners and created a situation wherein their gloriously precious hopes ended in despair.  The Government converted their hopes to be deceitful and treacherous.  The stand taken by the Government is devoid of calm sensibility and concerned sincerity.  Trust of the 32 lakhs employees and 33 lakhs pensioners is betrayed and their expectations of fair treatment from Government has been proved wrong.
Who gave the hopes and who betrayed:
                   In the wake of indefinite strike call given by National Joint Council of Action (NJCA) of Central Govt. Employees & Confederation of Central Government Gazetted Officers Organisations (CCGGOO) from 11th July 2016, in the crucial meeting held in the night of 30th June 2016, solemn assurance was given by none other than the topmost Cabinet Ministers Sri. Rajnath Singh, Home Minister, Sri. Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister and Shri. Suresh Prabhu, then Railway Minister.  It was told that Hon’ble Prime Minister Sri. Narendra Modiji has directed the group of Ministers to hold discussion with NJCA leaders.  Group of Ministers gave categorical assurance that minimum pay and fitment formula will be increased and for that purpose a High Level Committee will be constituted.  Again on 6th July 2016 Sri. Rajnath Singh, Home Minister, reiterated the assurance and Finance Ministry issued a press statement confirming the assurance. Leaders and employees trusted the words of the Senior Cabinet Ministers.  Eighteen (18) months are over.  No High Level Committee is constituted.  No hike in minimum pay and fitment formula is granted.
Delaying tactics and then denial:
                   From the very begining of coming to power, the Govt. has adopted a tactics of “delay and then deny” the legitimate aspirations of the Central Govt. Employees,Officers and Pensioners.  Pay Commission was granted four months extension.  Empowered Committee took seven months and pay scales were implemented without any change after seven months delay from the date of submission of 7th CPC report. Allowance Committee took one year and finally arrears of HRA and other allowances for eighteen months are denied.  Pension Option-I Committee was appointed to deny the one and the only favourable recommendations of the 7th CPC for Pensioners.  NPS Committee made it clear that withdrawl of NPS or guaranteeing minimum pension (50% of the last pay drawn) are not under its purview.  Anomaly Committee informed the JCM Staff side that 80% of the items submitted by staff side including increase in minimum pay and fitment formula will not constitute an anomaly and hence will not come under the purview of the Anomaly Committee.  Regarding implementation of the positive recommendations of Kamalesh Chandra Committee on Gramin Dak Sevaks (GDS) also almost eleven (11) months are over after the submission of the report to Govt. on 24-11-2016.  The brutal exploitation of casual and contract workers is increasing day by day.  Eventhough Modified Assured Career Progression (MACP) is not regular promotion, instead of seniority-cum-fitness, Government imposed more stringent conditions to deny the promotions to thousands of employees.
Wage, Job, Social Security and Trade Union rights under attack:
                   Not only the legitimate pay and allowances of the Central Govt. employees are denied, their job security is also under attack due to the neo-liberal policies pursued aggressively by the Government. Many works done by Railway Employees are outsourced and privatised and now leasing out of Railway stations and Railway Land to private corporates under PPP model is under progress. Decision has been taken by Government to outsource and privatise Defence production and related activities like Research, Maintenance and services etc. and to permit 100% FDI in Defence industry.  200 products being manufactured by the Ordnance factories are ordered to be handed over to private corporates.  Small Savings Schemes which was the monopoly of the Postal Department is outsourced to private banks and orders for outsourcing of booking and delivery of registered and speed post article is also issued.  Out of 17 Govt. of India Printing Presses, 12 presses are ordered to be closed as per Cabinet decision.  Many other small departments are also facing the attack of outsourcing, privatisation and closure.
                   Orders are issued by Govt. threatening serious disciplinary action against employees who participate in dharnas, demonstrations and strikes.  JCM National Council meeting was not held for the last seven years.  Most of the Departmental Councils are not functioning. Chief Executives of recognised Associations are harassed and vindictively transferred and recognition and trade union facilities to the Associations are withdrawn.  Results of the membership verification under the Recognition Rules are not being declared and even verification process under check-off system is stopped half-way.
                   NPS has become “No-Pension System” as many of the employees who retired after 10 to 12 years are getting monthly annuity pension (from  Insurance Company) less than Rs.2,000/- only whereas the minimum pension for 10 years service under the old pension scheme is now Rs.9,000/-.  Government is not ready to heed the demand of the staff side to withdraw Contributory Pension Scheme and guarantee minimum pension (50% of the last pay drawn) to all under Contributory Pension Scheme.  The observations of the 7th CPC that - “almost the whole lot of Government employees appointed on or after 01-01-2004 are unhappy with the New Pension System.  Government should take a call and look into their grievances”remains in paper.  Thus the social security of the employees is facing greatest threat from Government.
‘Tough time never last, but tough people do’
                   No doubt the entire working class along with Central Government employees are passing through a tough period.  Their life and livelihood are under attack.  And at the same time resistance movement against the policy offensives are gaining momentum.  Entire Trade Unions has organised three days “Maha Dharna” at New Delhi in which lakhs of workers participated.  Central Government employees under the banner of Confederation conducted series of agitational programmes like Parliament March, One day strike, Mass dharna in front of Finance Minister’s Office, Human Chain, Burning of HRA Orders, District level dharnas, State level dharnas etc. demanding settlement of  21 point charter of demands submitted  to Government.  Coming days will witness more sectoral struggles and joint struggles leading to indefinite strike.
No alternative for struggle:
                   Thus the struggles of the Working Class which was hitherto defensive in nature, is becoming more and more offensive.  We have to intensify our struggle during 2018 for our survival.  Let us remember and tell our friends in the Central Govt. Employees & Officers movement who are waiting peacefully and endessly hoping for justice from NDA Government -
                   “Organise if you want real living wages, organise if you want to have your working hours reduced, organise if you desire better treatment from your superior officers, organise if you want that the authorities should consult and consider your opinion on all administrative measures affecting you. Petitions, memorandums and supplications will count for nothing, so long as you do not organise yourselves in a manner to convice the Government that you will no longer stand nonsense.”
                   Let us march forward with full commitment and determination. 
      Ultimate victory shall be ours.- Courtesy: M. Krishnan,Secretary General, CCGEW

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Remove clause in FRDI Bill that has created panic among bank depositors.

All India DRDO Technical Officers' Association (AIDTOA) demands that Government's assurance that depositors' interest in case of a bank going down under would be fully protected should be clearly and unambiguously spelt out in the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill and a clause that seeks to treat depositors as other creditors and shareholders for bail - in must be removed.
The panic among the bank depositors has arisen largely due to "bail - in" provisions in the FRDI Bill, something being tried for the first time in Indian financial markets. The intention seems to be that let the shareholders and other stake holders, which include even the depositors (above the limit of insured amount) be responsible for saving a financial entity.

The government's assurance notwithstanding, sub - section 7 of Section 52 of the proposed law clearly says that the ''bail-in'', to which depositors have strong objection to, shall not be applicable to deposits to the extent only covered by insurance. As of now, the deposits are covered only up to Rs 1 lakh, which is a measly sum for millions of middle class families which have kept their life time savings in bank deposits.

The sub-section 7 of section 52 reads as follows: " The bail-in instrument or scheme under this section shall not affect— (a) any liability owed by a specified service provider to the depositors to the extent such deposits are covered by deposit insurance;".

In the Indian context, the concept of ''bail in '' especially by depositors should be completely done away with and their monies in the banks have to be protected at any cost. "Otherwise, the trust in the banking system runs the risk of being eroded and the savings by the households would find way into unproductive avenues like real estate, gold, jewellery and even in the unorganised and informal financial markets run by unscrupulous people.

Middle class families and especially those the pensioners, other old aged people have no social security and the bank deposits are the only financial security out of their life time savings. In any case, the rising cost of health, which is mostly available in the private sector, is hurting this class. Any move of ''bail - in " must be avoided.

The FRDI Bill lists those to be protected, in the event of a bank being in a critical condition, in order of priority; and uninsured depositors come fifth in this list. Even in their case, no doubt, the government claims that they would not lose their deposit value; rather their deposits would be converted into equity. In other words, bank are supposed to recapitalise themselves, when they are in a critical condition, by using depositors’ funds under this Bill, rather than by using budgetary resources as now. But this, apart from being of little consolation to depositors, provides a surreptitious route to privatisation of public sector banks.

It is of little consolation to depositors, because the value of such equity will fall precisely when the bank is in such a critical state that deposits have to be converted into equity; the depositors therefore will lose much of their wealth anyway. Additionally, they are likely to sell off this equity to private corporate entities to get back at least a part of their money, and this will mean a privatisation of public sector banks. A bunch of government nominees on the Resolution Corporation in other words can so orchestrate a public sector bank’s financial credibility that it can pass into private hands, and even into private corporate hands at throwaway prices, without the parliament coming into the picture at all, and entirely at the whim of the executive.

Money in both its forms, currency and bank deposits, is now no longer going to be considered a safe asset to hold. Since the FRDI Bill also covers State-owned insurance and other financial companies, their liabilities too, like bank deposits, would lose their attractiveness for numerous small wealth-holders. In an economy in which people’s confidence in money and these other financial assets is sapped, assets like gold or land or physical commodities become the favoured forms of wealth-holding, because they are considered comparatively “safe”. A shift from money to these latter assets constitutes a retrogression in economic terms.

Currently all deposits upto Rs 1 lakh are insured by banks themselves, so that there is no risk of loss to these depositors in the event of a bank failure. The Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation, a subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of India, which covers such depositors is proposed henceforth to be wound up; and no other institution has been suggested in its place in the bill.

More importantly, however, it is not just the existence of this Corporation that instilled confidence among depositors about the safety of their deposits with the nationalised banks; it was the fact that the banks were government-owned, the conviction that the government would never let these banks fail. It is this confidence which made millions of depositors, especially pensioners and senior citizens, hold their wealth in the form of bank deposits, even though such deposits offered comparatively lower rates of return than shares, mutual funds and many other assets. This confidence will now disappear.

To present a bill in parliament that is sought to be justified by a presumed conflict of interest between the “tax payer” and the “depositor” which can only arise in an eventuality that is nowhere on the horizon, and that can be prevented from arising anyway if we are careful, is not just absurd; it is actually quite mischievous.

It is ironical that the government, instead of announcing measures whereby the corporate defaulters on bank loans, who reportedly account for 75 per cent of total NPAs, are made to pay for their misappropriation of depositors’ resources, is announcing measures whereby the depositors would be made to pay for such corporate misappropriation! This is a blatant attack on crores of common depositors who save their lifelong earnings in bank deposits. This only helps the banks and the financial institutions to recoup their health at the expense of the depositors. While these banks have given humongous loans to the corporates which are not being returned, the consequent loss to the banks is sought to be made up through savings of crores of depositors.

 FRDI Bill 2017 proposes a bail-in provision.  In effect, this is as simple as forcing the depositors to absorb the losses of the bank. Pensioners and other small depositors who have kept their hard-earned savings will be forced to pay for the corporate delinquency and cronyism of the government which often forces the banks to go easy on big corporate debtors.  What is most cruel that once the RC decides on such bail-ins, the depositors will not even be in the knowledge, let alone consenting!

This is not fictional. In Cyprus, under similar conditions depositors had to bear 47.5 per cent of the uncovered amount in reality.

From Vijay Mallya to Anil Ambani, from Lalit Modi to Gautam Adani – we are all witness to the obnoxious episodes which have brought out the reality behind the rhetoric of ‘crusade against corruption’.   The promised Rs 15 lakh never materialised; but now hard-earned savings of Rs 15 lakhs which was secured in PSBs’ custody to be withdrawn for a daughter’s marriage or a son’s higher education, may actually turn out to be Rs 1 lakh! This is only what FRDI Bill proposes.  Could irony be crueler?



Saturday, 9 December 2017






Classification of Civil Posts under CCS(CCA) Rules – Gazette Notification
(Department of Personnel and Training)
New Delhi, the 9th November, 2017

S.O. 3578 (E).— In exercise of the powers conferred by the proviso to article 309 of the Constitution read with rule 6 of the Central Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1965 and in supersession of the notification of the Government of India in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions (Department of Personnel and Training) number S.O. 2079(E), dated the 20th August, 2014, except as respects things done or omitted to be done before such supersession, the President hereby directs that with effect from the date of publication of this Order in the Official Gazette, all civil posts except persons serving in the Indian Audit and Accounts Department under the Union, shall be classified as follows :-

Explanation – For the purpose of this Order, ‘Level’ in relation to a post means, the Level specified in third row of Part A of the Schedule to the Central Civil Services (Revised Pay) Rules, 2016.

[F. No. 11012/10/2016-Estt.A-III]

Click to view the Gazette Notification






Regarding tests/investigations at private hospitals/diagnostic laboratories/imaging centres empanelled under CGHS/CS(MA) Rules.

Extension of validity period of empanelment of already empanelled Health Care Organization under CGHS Delhi/NCR.


The ceiling for income tax for salaried persons and pensioners should be raised to Rs 5 lakh per year.

The Finance Minister held Pre Budget 2018 discussion with the representatives of central trade unions on 5th December 2018. The meeting, as every year, appeared to be not more than a ritual. The ‘consultative meeting’ with the 12 trade unions that were called, lasted for around 1 hour. The trade union representatives were requested to give their opinions in 3-4 minutes. The trade unions were asked to express their concerns and suggestions related to the union budget within this time frame.  

Ten central trade unions jointly presented their views in a note to the Finance Minister. In her intervention Dr.Hemalata reiterated that pre budget consultation with trade unions should not be treated as a mere ritual; the views of the trade unions representing the workers who produce the wealth should be given due place in the budget proposals. She also demanded that the Group of Ministers constituted under the chairmanship of the Finance Minister in 2015 to discuss the demands raised by the trade unions should continue discussions with them and resolve their demands. Instead of focussing on improving ‘ease of doing business’ to benefit the corporates, the government should focus on improving India’s position in ‘Global hunger index’ and closing down the ‘gender gap’. This should be done by increasing allocations for social sector including health and education, to the ICDS, National Health Mission, Midday Meal Programme etc that serve the poor, particularly women and children. ILC recommendations on recognising ‘scheme workers’ as ‘workers’, paying minimum wages to them etc. should be implemented.

She also emphasised the point that the government should increase spending on social sectors like education and health and mobilise resources for this by taxing the rich who can pay. It should focus on employment generation increasing public expenditure on infrastructure. All vacant posts in various government departments including railways etc should be filled up by fresh recruitment. MGNREGA should be implemented in all rural areas and extended to urban areas.

Dated 05.12.2017
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 2018-19 


To start with, we urge you to take the views presented jointly by the trade unions and incorporate them in the budget proposals so that this meeting would be meaningful. We request you not to convert this meeting into a mere a ritual.

Please recall that the Group of Ministers headed by you had an inconclusive discussion with the trade unions on the 12 point charter of demands of the working people of the country in August 2015. The GoM did not resume the discussions despite requests from the central trade unions. The discussion the Labour Minister held with the central trade unions on 7th November 2017 did not yield any results.

Hence, we feel compelled to reiterate our demands again and present our views as follows:

·    Increase budgetary allocations for social sector: The government should increase allocations on social sector and basic essential services like health, education, food security etc. in the Union Budget. The necessary financial resources should be raised internally by taxing the rich who have the capacity to pay.
· Effective measures against deliberate tax and loan repayment defaults: Effective and firm measures should be taken against deliberate tax default by the big business and corporate lobby to curtail the huge accumulation of unpaid taxes, which have been continuously increasing. Further, wilful default should be made a criminal offence, the list of wilful defaulters should be made public and stringent measures such as fast track Debt Recovery Tribunals should be implemented.
· Minimum wage: Minimum wage fixed on the basis of the recommendations of the 15thIndian Labour Conference and the Supreme Court judgment in Raptakos & Brett case and linked to Consumer Price Index should be guaranteed to all workers. The 7th Pay Commission has worked this to be Rs 18000 per month, which the government has accepted. Hence, the minimum wage should not be less than Rs 18000 per month, which has been the common demand of all the central trade unions. Need based minimum wage should be considered as an essential part of social security.
·   Resolve demands of the Government employees regarding 7th Pay Commission: All the pending demands of the Government employees in centre and states in regard to 7th pay commission be resolved within time frame including arrears of allowances with effect from 01.01.2016.  The autonomous bodies be included into for all the benefits of the 7th pay commission.
·  Price rise: The prices of essential commodities, particularly of food items have been spiralling making it impossible for the workers and other toiling people to meet their basic daily needs. Speculative forward trading and hoarding are major factors contributing to the price rise. The government should ban speculative forward trading in essential commodities, take strong measures to curtail hoarding and strengthen Public Distribution System, making it universal. Stop the system of cash transfer to beneficiaries’ accounts in lieu of PDS
·      Stop disinvestment and strategic sale of public sector units: The public sector has to be strengthened and expanded. Budgetary support should be provided for the revival of potentially viable sick public sector units. Strategic sale of the profit making PSUs, which is being resorted to at present should be stopped. The amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act, which pave the way for privatisation of the state owned public transport system should be withdrawn.
·   Employment generation: Employment generation has nosedived in the recent period. Massive public investment in infrastructure, social sectors and agriculture would generate employment. The union budget should give priority and allocate the necessary funds for this. All vacant sanctioned posts in the different government departments, PSUs and autonomous institutions should be filled up through fresh recruitment. The ban on creation of new posts should be lifted. The practice of surrendering/ abolition of posts should be done away with.
· Prevent dumping: The increasing import of industrial commodities including capital goods should be contained and regulated to prevent dumping. Protect and promote domestic industries. This will also help in preventing job losses
·  Extend MGNREGA: Expenditure on MGNREGA should be increased to cover all rural areas. Ensure immediate payment of wages to workers employed under MGNREGA. It should be amended to include the urban areas as well. The unanimous recommendation of 43rd ILC to extend the scheme to urban areas, guarantee employment for a minimum of 200 days with statutory minimum wage, should be implemented.
· Contract and casual workers: No contract/casual workers should be deployed on jobs of perennial nature. The contract and casual workers doing the same and similar work as the permanent workers should be paid the same wages and benefits as paid to regular workers as directed by Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in 2016.
·  FDI: The CTUs have been repeatedly demanding that FDI should not be allowed in crucial sectors like defence production, railways, financial sector, retail trade etc. But the government has persisted with this policy. Corporates with large NPAs are allowed to invest in sensitive sectors like defence. We reiterate the demands that FDI should not be allowed in the crucial sectors.
· Defence: Privatisation of the defence sector should be stopped. The order outsourcing of the 143 items of the total 273 produced by the public sector ordnance factories should be withdrawn.
·  Scheme workers: Regularise the workforce employed in the various schemes of government of India including the ICDS, NHM, Midday Meal Programme, National Child Labour Project, Sarva Siksha Abhiyan etc. Till this is done, at least immediately implement the recommendation of the 45th ILC that these scheme workers should be recognised as ‘workers’, they should be paid minimum wages and provided social security benefits including pension. Increase budgetary allocations to these schemes and stop privatisation of these schemes in any form.
·                     Domestic workers: The government should ratify the ILO Convention 189 and enact a central law and create support system for domestic workers.
·                     Unorganised workers: Create a National Fund for Unorganised Workers to provide social security for all unorganised workers including contract, casual, migrant workers etc. Direct all state governments to frame rules under the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act and allocate funds for developing street vending as livelihood model. Management of cess under the Building and other Construction Workers’ Welfare Board, Beedi Workers Welfare Board etc. should be made the responsibility of Ministry of Finance, which should ensure its proper collection, stoppage of evasion and utilisation.
·                     Labour law reforms: Stop labour law amendments that curtail the basic and trade union rights of workers and provide unhindered ‘hire and fire’ facilities to the employers. The Code on Wages Bill, at present before the Standing Committee on Labour and on the draft Code on Industrial Relations Bill should be finalised on the basis of the opinions of the central trade unions expressed unanimously. No labour law amendment should be undertaken without the consent of the trade unions and workers who are the main stakeholders and the most affected.
·                     EPF: The threshold limit for EPF scheme should be brought down to 10. Government and employers’ contribution should be increased to provide a minimum pension of Rs 3000 per month and make it sustainable. Stop investing EPF funds in share market. The Supreme Court has given a judgment and order for higher payment of pension under EPS – 95. This option should be made available for all workers covered under the said scheme.
·                     Pension for all: Pension should be construed as deferred wage and all workers who are not covered by any pension scheme should be ensured a pension not less than Rs 3,000/- per month.
·                     New Pension scheme: NPS should be withdrawn. All central and state government employees recruited on or after 1.1.2004 should be covered under the Old Pension Scheme.
·                     Gratuity: Gratuity under the Payment of Gratuity Act should be raised to Rs 20 lakhs and 30 days wages instead of 15 days per completed year of service.
·                     ADHAR: Government should not rush making ADHAR linking compulsory
·                     Closed and sick factories: Ensure that workers of closed factories get their dues within a fixed time limit. Sudden winding up of the BIFR has left many stakeholders without a remedy. Rules for carrying out the provisions of the Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Repeal Act, 2003 should be framed immediately to facilitate them.
·                     Income tax exemption: The ceiling for income tax for salaried persons and pensioners should be raised to Rs 5 lakh per year. Income Tax ceiling for senior citizens should be raised to Rs.8 lakhs. All perks and fringe benefits like housing, medical and education facilities and running allowances in railways should be exempted from income tax net totally.
·                     Political funding: Recently the government removed the limit on the amount companies can donate to political parties and the need to name the political party receiving the funds. This is far from the transparency promised in public life. The earlier regime should be restored.
·                     Railways: Adequate financial resources should be allotted to the railways to ensure more effective, accessible and affordable transport to the common people, particularly the poor. The capabilities of public sector production units should be utilised fully, further developed and strengthened. No measure should be taken to privatise the railways. The measures to hand over the railway stations across the country to private players should be immediately stopped. Any property of railways should not be handed over to private sector through lease or sale.  The decision to allow 100% FDI in railways should be withdrawn. The pending expansion, track renewal, signals up gradation projects should be completed at the earliest. Adequate financial resources should be allocated to improve safety systems and ensure safe rail travel for the people. All the vacancies in the railways should be filled up. The long pending demands of the railway employees like enhancement of ceiling in respect of running allowance for tax exemption, housing scheme etc. should be addressed positively.

To conclude:

We reiterate our strong opposition to the anti worker measures being undertaken by the government on the pretext of improving the ‘ease of doing business’, to benefit the employers, particularly the big corporates, domestic and foreign.

We once again urge upon the government to take concrete measures to resolve the 12 point charter of demands of the working people, being repeatedly raised by the central trade unions, as well as the pressing issues listed above.

We regret that none of the suggestions of the central trade unions, made in the earlier pre budget meetings were incorporated in the previous budgets. We hope that this would not be repeated yet again and the points raised by us will be given positive consideration while framing budget 2018-19.