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Friday, 24 April 2020 10:02

MAY DAY MANIFESTO 2020

On this Day of International Working Class Solidarity, May Day 2020,

In the midst of the Corona virus pandemic - One of the worst tragedies that struck humanity in a century,

Leading to an impending economic crisis predicted to be the worst since the World War II,

CITU

Expresses its heartfelt gratitude and class pride at the invaluable services being rendered by -

All the front line health workers, the doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, the sanitation workers and all other workers across the globe, risking their lives to safeguard the lives of others

Extends solidarity to

The working class, who kept the wheels of society running during the lockdown imposed in countries across the world by maintaining the essential services - water, electricity, transport, communication, financial services, milk, groceries, vegetables, medicines, etc to sustain life for the hundreds of millions of people under the lockdown in many countries, braving huge personal difficulties and sufferings

All the peasants and agricultural workers who continue to feed the world,

And all the workers and other toiling people, the unsung heroes and heroines who are the real ‘wealth creators’, the unseen powers that propel the world

CITU

Deeply condoles the families of the millions of people across the world who lost their dear ones to the Covid -19 pandemic

Stands in solidarity with

The hundreds of millions who suffer from the disease and many of whom are also stigmatised by sections of society, for no fault of theirs, and

The many other hundreds of millions who live in anxiety and fear –

Anxiety and fear not only of the virus but

Anxiety of the future of those who have already lost their jobs and sources of livelihood

Anxiety of many more who fear losing their jobs and source of livelihood, tomorrow if not today

On this May Day, CITU

Asserts that the only way to overcome the present crisis due to the Covid -19 pandemic as well as the already existing global economic crisis, is for the workers and all sections of toiling people to Unite; unite by demolishing the walls being built between them in the name of religion, race, region, caste, ethnicity, language, gender etc; Unite as human beings to protect our lives, livelihoods and the earth and environment that sustain our lives and livelihoods

The Covid -19 pandemic has stripped naked the inhuman and barbaric nature of the society that we live in today - the capitalist system and its neoliberal avatar

The challenge that the novel Corona virus, an invisible micro organism, has thrown before humanity in this twenty first century, requires a united fight to protect lives, to mobilise the entire world’s scientific and technological knowledge, financial resources, pool all our human strength to fight and defeat it.

Instead, what we see today is the most hideous and repulsive face of the capitalist system.

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions denounces the Central Govt’s decision to freeze, rather confiscate the increase in Dearness Allowance payable to Central Govt employees and pensioners falling due from January 2020 and also future dues, falling due on July 2020 and January 2021 on the plea of financial crisis arising out of COVID 19 vide Finance Ministry Order no 1/1/2020-E-II(B) dated 23rd April 2020.

No doubt, the country has been passing through a financial crisis but why should the workers and employees be made the sacrificial item for the same who themselves suffer most owing to Covid-19 followed by lockdown. Quite a number of employees are deployed and consequently are involved in various governmental activities and services meant to combat the spread of the pandemic  Covid-19 especially of those departments declared as emergency services viz, health, postal, defence, railways etc. While taking such decision Govt did not bother to consult the unions and federations of the central govt employees, displaying rabid authoritarianism.

CITU strongly urges that response to financial crisis by the central govt must start with measures to garner resources where it is there aplenty at the disposal of handful of ultra rich class. As Per OXFAM Report, combined wealth amassed by only 63 billionaires in India is more that the total Union Budget in 2018-19 which was at Rs 24, 42, 200 crore. Top 10% of population cornered 77% of national wealth. Wealth of India’s richest 1 per cent is 4 times more than the bottom 70%. Govt must tap this huge accumulation of wealth with barely 5% of ultra-rich, amassed mostly through undue and illegitimate patronization of the economic policy regime, through appropriate direct taxation/wealth tax measures instead of brutally pouncing on the working peoples’ earnings and livelihood. And this right is vested with the Central Govt only

CITU strongly condemns this retrograde decision of the Central Govt to confiscate outright the legitimate dues of the employees and pensioners on account of increase in DA till January 2021, although prices of all essentials will continue to increase to further increase the profit of the big-business/corporate.

CITU demands withdrawal of this DA Confiscation order by the central government, also demands that the state governments be extended financial help to enable continuity of variable DA payment to their employees. CITU calls upon the Govt employees’ movement in particular and the trade union movement in general to unitedly oppose this retrograde anti-worker measures.

(Tapan Sen)
General Secretary

CITU congratulates people all over the country for observing all India Protest Day on 21st April 2020 by strictly following the physical distancing and other guidelines issued by the government to contain the corona virus. People across the country had one important message for the Prime Minister – ‘We Have Heard Enough. Now, Please Hear Us’

Tens of thousands of workers and other toiling people stood up at thousands of locations covering all the districts of the country and in many subdivisions and villages - in front of their homes, on their balconies or roof tops, work places,  placards and flags in hands, maintaining physical distance and shouting slogans for 5-10 minutes on 21st April 2020 at 10.30 in the morning. In several places it was a single person standing in front of her/ his home holding a hand written placard, in many along with their family members including children and in still many more people stood in scores displaying placards and shouting slogans. Migrant workers, stranded away from home, without proper shelter and regular food stood up with their demands written on pieces of paper. The fact that it was observed in all states from Jammu & Kashmir to Tamil Nadu and Kerala, from Gujarat to Assam indicates that the slogans resonated with the feelings of the people. In Tripura, even though preparations were made, the state government prevented it from being observed even from within the compounds. The CITU state committee strongly condemned the government notification and wrote a letter to the Prime Minister.  

The one common slogan that resounded across the country was ‘Bhashan nahin; ration chahiye; vetan chahiye; arthik sahayata chahiye’ (Enough of hollow speeches; Give us food; wages and financial assistance). The slogan spread like wild fire across the country in less than a day.

The call given by CITU was supported by All India Kisan Sabha, All India Agricultural Workers’ Union, All India Democratic Women’s Association, Democratic Youth Federation of India, Students Federation of India, Dalit Soshan Mukti Manch, Adivasi Adhikar Rashtriya Manch and National Platform for the Rights of Disabled. Several unions of middle class employees and in some states, state committees of some central trade unions also supported and joined the call.

The programme was observed in collieries, tea gardens, construction sites, in the townships of public sector units like steel, workers’ colonies, in places where large numbers of unorganised sector workers stay, as well as at the factories and work places where they are open. Safai karmacharis, ASHAs, anganwadi employees, and others joined in thousands of places. The peasants and agricultural workers as well as the scheme workers participated in the villages. In some places, memoranda were submitted to the local authorities.

In Maharashtra, MH Sheikh, general secretary of CITU state committee and in Gautam Budha Nagar, Gangeshwar, vice president of Delhi NCR state committee, and eight activists in Behala, Kolkata were arrested.

While condemning these arrests and the high handed attitude of the administration in Tripura, CITU called upon the people to be united and prepared for stronger actions in the coming days as the situation improves, if the government continues with its apathy to the poor while showering bonanzas over the big corporates and business houses.

Tapan Sen
General Secretary

The government has extended the country wide lockdown to 3rd May 2020. Announcing the extension, the Prime Minister has given seven advices to the people. But there is not one sentence about the measures that his government proposes to take to provide relief to the tens of millions of workers who have lost their only source of income and are starving with their families. They are not in a position to put into practice the Prime Minister’s advice to take care of their old family members. They are not in a position to feed them. The Prime Minister has no advice for them about what they should do. 

It is the workers, particularly the unorganised workers, the contract and casual workers, the NEEM workers, apprentices, trainees etc in the organised sector, the migrant workers including the construction, brick kiln etc workers, the workers in micro and small enterprises, the domestic workers, the small peasants and agricultural workers etc who are bearing the brunt of the lockdown due to the corona virus pandemic. The journalists, IT/ITES employees and permanent workers in the organised sector are also not spared. Every day cases of closure, retrenchments and wage cuts of workers, not only in the private sector, organised and unorganised but also from public sector companies to corporate media houses are pouring in. It was already the workers who were the worst affected by the economic slowdown that existed even before the corona virus struck.  Even 27 days after the lockdown, most of the migrant workers stranded at different places, far from their homes, are facing hunger; they don’t know where their food for the day will come from, if at all. Nearly 200 people died of starvation, exhaustion and other causes while trying to reach their homes on foot.

The suicide of Mukesh, a migrant worker living in a slum cluster in Gurugaon, a few kilometres from the national capital on 16th April reveals the severe plight of tens of millions of migrant workers in our country. Having lost his work as a painter two months ago and having no work to do since the lockdown, exhausting all his meagre savings, he sold his only possession which could fetch some money – his cell phone, for Rs 2500. He bought some flour, rice, sugar and a table fan for his children to survive the summer heat, gave the rest of money to his wife, went inside his shanty and hanged himself. His neighbours, all migrant workers, said that they were not getting food every day. As they had no ration cards, they were not getting any ration.

The capitalist class, the big corporates and business people, are keeping to their houses, trying new recipes and enjoying with their families whereas crores of workers who create wealth, who run the wheels of society have lost their work, have no place to stay, and are starving; those whose services to the society are indispensable are made to work without any protective gear, risking their lives. Doctors, nurses and other health workers are getting infected by Covid19 and even hospitals have to be closed. The frontline workers and cleaning workers are not even provided masks.

To
The Prime Minister of India
New Delhi

Sub: Termination of employment and nonpayment of wages to Media employees during Lockdown period

Dear Prime Minister Sir,

In your repeated addresses to Nation, you have appealed the entire people to unitedly combat the Corona Pandemic in the country. You have also appealed to also ensure that nobody’s employment is terminated or wage cut is imposed owing to compulsion of lockdown. Accordingly the Union Labour Secretary and Union Home Secretary have issued directive/advisory in the context of invoking of National Disaster Management Act to all concerned not to terminate employment and ensure full payment of wages to all workers including contractual and casual workers vide their communication dated 20th March and 29th March 2020 respectively. But despite that, massive retrenchment has taken place and in many industries wage cut is also taking place. We have drawn attention of the Union Labour Secretary, and Labour Commissioners of different states on all such specific cases of terminations and nonpayment of wages requesting corrective enforceable intervention from their ends. But no result is visible as yet reducing the directives of your Govt ineffective.

Now I draw your attention the incidents of termination of employment and nonpayment of wages in the media sector, both electronic and print, although the media workers including the journalists mostly were on work during the lockdown period to keep the nation informed of all development and also to propagate the messages you sought to give to the nation through your repeated addresses.

As per reports received by us till date…….

Indian Express and Business Standard have asked the staff to accept salary-cuts; Times of India has sacked the entire Sunday Magazine team; News Nation terminated 16 digital-section employees; about half of the Quint contingent has been forced to go on leave without pay; India Today has shortlisted a team of 46 reporters, 6 cameraman and 17 producers for removal from service; ET Panache and Bombay Times are set to merge and in this process 50 per cent of the PNACHE employees are being terminated; Hindustan Times Marathi are removing the entire contingent as it is going to be closed; Urdu paper Nayi Duniya and Evening Star of Mysore and the Outlook Magazine stopped their print publication.

Above situation along with ongoing termination of employment and nonpayment of wages clearly reveals that mere appeal to the employers’ class or official advisories are not enough to address the phenomenon of violating the directive/advisories/appeal relating to the workers by the employers; because lust for profit does not have any conscience. What is required is a strong statutorily enforceable measure to put a ban on all terminations and wage cut and such measure is  actually warranted to address the kind of national disaster the country is facing.

I urge upon you to please intervene so that concrete measures are taken to put the directives/advisories of your own Govt on the above issue for execution. With regards,

Yours sincerely,
(Tapan Sen)
General Secretary

 

The hon’ble  Prime Minister is eloquent in his address to Nation today as to what people should do during the period of extended lockdown till 3rd May 2020. But he remained tragically silent on what his Govt is going to do to facilitate the success of the lockdown period and ensure physical and human survival of the poorest section of working people running into several crores.  And the crudest joke that has come to play is that PM appeals the people themselves  to take care of their poorer counterparts while the Ministers will continue to pronounce sermons through electronic media.  Dramatic as well as deceptive indeed ! PM also did not bother to inform the people whether testing will be augmented to required level as advised by experts and also by WHO. Without all these, PM address, while extending the lockdown period, is reduced to only sound bites with little substance.

Till now the Govt announced a relief package statedly for people affected by lockdown of only Rs 1.70 lakh crore.  And  out of this packge for the common people, actual funding by Govt is only Rs 79000 crore (Rs 45000 crore for free ration and Rs  34000 crore  for cash transfer for women and senior citizens) and rest will be managed out of statutory welfare fund for construction workers and other social security funds belonging to workers themselves). Innovative way of packaging ongoing existing schemes and other funds as new post Corona relief package with a deceptive intent.  

And this deceptive game becomes clear when looked into and understood  in the face of a whopping Rs 7.78 lakh crore package announced as concessions/incentive/tax-break for the handful of corporate only a couple of weeks back through the budget and subsequent pronouncements. This is over and above the Rs 5.84 lakh crore patronized default of direct-tax dues from the same community and around Rs 2 lakh crore written-off bank loans in last one year period for them only—a total bonanza of Rs15.62 lakh crore out of the national exchequer built by the people and peoples’ money in the banking system. And in this background, the just demand of the trade unions for a universal income support scheme through cash transfer is being arrogantly ignored although the estimated cost of such income support of Rs 7000/- per month to 80 per cent of 32.72 crore households in country for a period of three months is just around Rs 5.04 lakh crore—around one third of Rs 15.62 lakh crore bonanza to corporate/big business. And whereas the big corporate are being favoured with various tax-breaks, concessions and give-aways, the MSME’s demand for financial support for sustaining their employment and activities is being arrogantly ignored. This is the real face of a democratically elected Govt whose greater concern is for handful of its political donors and not the crores of common populace.  

And now the continuing concern of the people about the Corona Pandemic and the lockdown situation is being further sought to be abused and encashed by the guards of the exploitative neoliberal capitalist order in governance by increasing working hours from eight hours to 12 hours a day, and fast tracking the pro-employer changes in all labour laws to legalise and legitimise all labour law violations by the employers to ensure further bonanza to the corporate/big business by more fiercely extracting blood and sweat of the working people, majority of whom are already in dire strait fighting for their human survival.  Working class cannot accept such a deceptive and fraudulent ploy lying down.

And what has been happening on the ground about implementation of Govt’s own directives/advisories notified by Labour Secretary and Home Secretary and also by Prime Minister in his today’s address about non-termination of employment and full payment of wages in the lockdown period ? The contract workers, casual

workers and in many cases regular workers have been thrown out of employment in thousands in several establishments and several thousands others have not been paid wages for the month of March 2020 in tea gardens, jute mills, IT &ITES sector, various construction projects, including contract/casual workers even in many public sector companies in arrogant violation of Govt directives with the concerned Govts remaining mere onlookers. Crores of Migrant workers working in industries and service sectors have been thrown out of employment and evicted from their residences and thrown under the sky to suffer in hunger with their family members, although Home Ministry’s concrete directives to the contrary. Prime Minister’s address did not bother even to mention these hardships being suffered by the real wealth-creators for the national economy because the philosophy of the ruling polity is to stand along with the exploiting class and not the people at large. CITU condemns such dire inhuman insensitivity of the Govt towards the sufferings of the people.  

CITU deplores and condemns the stealthy move to make pro-employer changes in labour laws through codification and through executive orders or by Ordinance to satisfy the corporate masters. Any unilateral move in that direction without consultation with the trade unions will be opposed and resisted by the workers. Govt must have consultation with all stakeholders including in tripartite forums for its future steps workers are the biggest stakeholders in this regard.  

In such a grave situation CITU reiterates its demands and urge upon that the Govt, instead of distributing sermons through media, must act on the ground and announce statutorily enforceable measures to be directly enforced by the governments at the centre and states, without further delay. These should, inter alia, include:

  1. Urgent step to augment testing arrangement to bring the country to the standard coverage level at par with global average. Ensure adequate  availability of testing kits and centres and also of personal protective gears to meet the increasing requirement
  2. Protecting the livelihood and earnings of workers compelling the private business, along with the PSU management to ensure protection of jobs, earnings and social security benefits both for their regular workers as well as the contract and casual workers in the face of ongoing down-sizing and even shut-downs
  3. No unilateral change in labour laws to increase daily working hours and change in working conditions in favour of employers
  4. MSMEs should be granted direct financial support to enable them to sustain employment and activities
  5. Ensure transfer of Rs 5000/- for the unorganized/informal sector workers aged up to 25 years and Rs 10000/- to those above 25 years on a monthly basis through their bank/jan-dhan accounts
  6. Increase in the pension for the EPS pensioners at the minimum level to Rs 6000/-.
  7. Also the workers directly affected by corona virus and forced to stay away from work should be granted paid leave by the employers.
  8. No wage-cut, adjustment of leave etc should be allowed for shut-down or down-sizing
  9. Free rations to informal sector workers with the huge stock of food grains at  Govt-disposal
  10. Strict action against hoarders who utilise the situation leading to price rise of essential commodities including food items, medicines, sanitisers etc
  11. Separate arrangement should be made to supply mid day meal to the residence of the entitled students in view of the temporary closure of the schools. This will also save the jobs of the mid-day-meal workers besides benefiting the students.
  12. Special safety arrangement to be ensured for health-workers including the ASHAs, second ANMS and other scheme workers in the health department, anganwadi employees etc engaged in providing health and other services in different ways; workers in essential services, transport and certain industries functioning during the lockdown with govt permission should also be provided with this special safety arrangements and protective gears
  13. Increase in remuneration of the ASHA and other scheme workers in health services on a monthly basis
  14. Strengthen public sector pharmaceutical production entities for production of raw materials, testing kits and medicines including sanitisers and other implements.

Tapan Sen
General Secretary

CITU  DENOUNCE THE GOVT-MOVE TO AMEND FACTORIES ACT 1948 TO INCREASE DAILY WORKING HOURS TO 12 HRS.  CORONA SITUATION MUST NOT BE USED TO BENEFIT THE CORPORATES/BUSINESS AT THE COST OF WORKERS

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) expresses serious concern as well as contempt at the move of the Govt at the centre to increase the daily working hours from 8 hours to 12 hours as reported by media. 

This is being considered as a measure to help production/services during the lockdown and post lockdown situation by the Govt under “exceptional circumstances” for which amendment of section 51 of the Factories Act is being contemplated. 

CITU opines that need for extra hours of working, if any, in exceptional lockdown/post-lockdown situation can very well be met under existing provisions of Factories Act through overtime-work for which no change of law is at all required. The main motive of the Govt is to help their masters in corporate/employers’ class by relieving their obligation of paying overtime wages and get the extra-working hours by workers free of cost. Corona situation is being utilized as a bonanza to the corporate/employers’ class and a straight cut in wages/earnings of the workers.

Changing the internationally accepted norm of eight hour working is already in the project of this Modi Govt; in the Code on Industrial Relations Bill 2020 already introduced in Parliament, the issue of daily working hours has been kept open to de decided by the appropriate govts, obviously, through executive order. The Bill is yet to be passed. And in the present circumstances, the possibility of expanding the normal daily working hours from 8 hours to 12 hours through executive order or even by an Ordinance cannot be ruled out. This is nothing but the philistine game plan of the Govt at the centre of relieving the corporate/employers from the obligation of paying overtime and extracting extra hours of work from the workers without any extra cost. Reading the concerned provision of Code on Industrial Relations Bill  together with the present move of the Govt exposes this fraud and sinister game-plan.

None of the Central Trade Unions has yet been consulted on this sinister move of the Govt through the empowered group of bureaucrats, thus trampling underfoot the basic principles of tripartism and all talks and sermons of the Prime Minister and others to unitedly combat the challenging Corona pandemic situation has been proved to be a bluff.    

CITU condemns such a fraudulent move of the Govt and demands upon the Govt not to proceed on such disastrous path. CITU calls upon the working people irrespective of affiliations to unite and resist such retrograde exercise through united struggle both at national level and at workplace level too. 

Issued by
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

To
The Secretary to Govt of India
Ministry of Labour and Employment
Shram Shakti Bhawan
Rafi Marg, New Delhi 110001

Sub: Termination and wage cut of workers during lockdown period

Ref: Ref: My previous letters to you dated 27-3-2020, 28-3-2020, 5-4-2020 and 7-4-2020 regarding implementation of your own directive/advisory no vide DO no M-11011/08/2020 dated 20th March 2020. 

Dear Sir,

This is my fifth letter to you citing specific instances of violation of your directive/advisories dated 20th March on the “DOs & DON’TS” by the employers of both private and public sector establishments during the period of and consequent upon the lockdown for the Corona Pandemic in respect of non-termination of employment and payment of wages to the workers including contractual/casual workers.  Incidentally all the cases of such gross violations brought to your notice for action were in the establishments owned by the central govt and also those for whom central govt is the appropriate Govt.

All my previous four letters to you cited specific instances of violations of your directive/advisory by way of termination of employment of contract/casual workers in Banks in West Bengal, Border Roads Organisation and Hydro Power Project in Jammu & Kashmir, nonpayment of wages in Jute Mills and Tea Gardens in West Bengal, requesting your corrective intervention to enforce the directive/advisory issued by your office only to all concerned.

Now I draw your attention to the specific cases of wage cuts and termination of employment of workers of IT and ITES sector in Karnataka, Tamilnadu and West Bengal on the basis of information received till date:

  1. In Karnataka, in Bengaluru

Travel PD Co terminated one employee, Parallel Wireless in Bengaluru terminated 15 employees, Chumbak Design Private Ltd terminated 247 employees through forced resignation, Hula Infotainment terminated 30 employees, M/s Hem & RA T terminated 4 employees, M/s Mistefa terminated 60 employees through forced resignation,  IVT Co terminated 22 employees, M/s Flying Out terminated 90 employees and M/s Timken and M/s Classlap India Pvt Ltd invoked a 50% salary cut while not paying the March salary to all the employees yet.  

  1. In West Bengal, in Kolkata

In M/s Erevmax Technologies 80 per cent employees were sent on forced unpaid leave which tantamount to wage cut. M/s Soumak, PICON, EEMDEE Digitronics Pvt Ltd and Pace Computer Service have invoked wage cut on all the employees.

We urge upon you to please intervene for a strong corrective actionon both the cases brazen violation of your directive/advisory dated 20 March 2020.

Awaiting eagerly for your corrective interventions in all the cases of violations of your directive/advisory.

With regards,

Yours sincerely
Tapan Sen
General Secretary 

To 

The Prime Minister of India
New Delhi  

Sub: Your address to People on 3rd April 2020

Dear Prime Minister Sir,

We have been trying to draw your pointed attention to the severe problems of survival faced by the poorest sections of working people of the country, including the migrant workers following the lockdown. We have also suggested concrete urgent remedial and relief measures through our letters dated 24-3-2020 and 30-3-2020 addressed to you. All the central trade unions have also jointly represented to you on the same issues, vide letters dated 26-3-2020. The central trade unions have also written to the Union Labour Minister vide the joint letter dated 1-4-2020.

People, mainly the unorganised sector workers, migrant workers, agricultural workers and poor peasants expected that you would announce some concrete measures in your address to the nation on 3rd April. But we are sorry to state that they were totally disappointed and frustrated as you did not even acknowledge/recognise their survival issues, not to speak of announcing any ameliorative measures. The frontline health workers were highly disappointed that you were totally silent on ensuring personal protective gear and equipments for them. The country remains in the dark on the concrete measures that your government is taking to fight the Corona virus while you called upon the people to put off lights and light candles at 9.00 pm on 5th April to drive away the darkness caused by the Corona virus. We cannot but feel let down and crudely shocked at this insensitivity on the part of the highest authority in the government towards the sufferings of the poor working people of our country, who make the wheels of our country move. It is nothing but a cruel joke on the poor. We are sorry to state that your address has only conveyed the lack of seriousness on the part of your government about the serious threat posed by the Corona virus on the health of our people, the livelihood of the workers and in turn on our entire economy.

Different views are being expressed by the experts on the technical aspects of the call for countrywide switching off. The Powergrid Corporation of India Ltd has sent on 3-4-2020 itself to all its Regional Heads caution-message about possibility of grid-constraints and instability in view of your call of switching off lights on 5th April night. Federations of electricity workers and engineers also conveyed similar cautions to the Minister of Power. We request you to ascertain yourself the impact of switching off lights in all households in the country for 9 minutes, and whether that risk is worth-taking, in the interests of all concerned.  At the same time we urge upon you to please positively respond to the concrete measures demanded by the entire trade union movement to address the problems of the very survival of crores of working people including the migrant workers.

With regards,
Yours sincerely,
( Tapan Sen )
General Secretary 

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions denounces Govt decision to drastically reduce the interest rates on small savings by around 140 basis points. This is a second-time reduction in interest rate on small savings within a span of less than one year, last being in June 2019. This will affect financially the mass of the populace, the superannuated, income-less several crores of senior citizens in particular who survive mainly on the meager return on their savings. It will also act as disincentive for generations of small savings of the common people through Govt-run savings instruments, which is an important source of resources for both the central and state governments for developmental work. This decision will also act in promoting the mutual funds and other speculative financial instruments being run by major big corporate, in collaboration with foreign financial agencies.

This cut in interest rates on small savings is being justified for sustaining govt revenue and contain the fiscal imbalance owing to economic slowdown and post lockdown situation which is nothing but a deceptive plea. .

The questions arise, why the has the Govt left, rather freed the ultra rich section from sharing the burden of so called fiscal-imbalance,–the so called high net-worth-individuals(HINI)-all from big corporate/business community –who have cornered more than 50 per cent of national wealth, wholly burdening the people?

It is these toiling people in industries, services and agriculture who creates wealth for the national economy, delivers resources to national exchequer shouldering the increasing and widening burden of indirect taxes and also income tax through deduction from their wages. And now they are being  fleeced further despite they being worst affected and sufferers of economic slowdown and also unavoidable lockdown phenomenon.

And the so called HINI from the big corporate/business community are favoured with tax concessions worth lakhs of crores of rupees in every budget including the latest one and yet they habitually evade their direct tax obligations after consuming all concessions, which is indirect and patronised pilferage from national exchequer. Only during 2014-2019, the unpaid direct tax accumulation from the same class has reached Rs 5.84 lakh crore as per official estimate. This very community of HINI is favoured with a rebate/waiver of more than Rs 2 lakh crore of their due bank-loans during last year.  Why should not they be charged additional tax/cess out of their huge accumulated wealth which are amassed through extraction and expropriation of the wealth created by the working people. Why should there not be stringent action of recovering from them, their unpaid accumulated direct tax dues?  

CITU denounces the brazenly anti-people discriminatory action of the Govt in slashing down the interest rate on small savings. CITU reiterates the demand of the entire trade union movement to differentially treat the interests rates on social security savings and small savings instruments from commercial interest rate, and maintain them at a higher level. CITU also demands restoration of the interest rates on all small savings.

Issued by
( Tapan Sen )
General Secretary

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