Trade Unions deplore the anti worker, anti farmer, anti people budget | Call for Nationwide Protest on 03rd February 2021

The budget presented by the Finance Minister is full of rhetoric and far away from the ground realities. It is totally deceptive and destructive for the national economy, besides being cruelly insensitive to the suffering of mass of the toiling people. The Finance Minister has repeated the claim of Government's economic survey that the labour codes are good for the workers, similarly the farm laws were also praised. She has actually extended, rather repeated her presentation of the same deceptive packages announced in the month of may 2020.

The budget is friendly to Indian and foreign Corporate and continues to give huge concessions, reduction in tax for them and increase in the cess on common man. The common masses are burdened more when there is crisis for their livelihood itself.   

The budget continues its policy of selling our public sector banks, enhancing FDI in Insurance sector to 74% besides pushing through aggressive disinvestment in LIC, and pursuing privatisation in almost all profit making public sector enterprises while announcing closure in all loss-making PSUs including those in core and strategic sectors. The stated target of raising upto Rs. 1.75 lakh crore from disinvestment of profit making Public Sector Enterprises exposes the destructive motives and bankruptcy of the government.

The allocation in the MGNREGA faces a drastic reduction compared to expenditure last year despite the fact that this scheme had proved to be a relief to many of the people losing jobs due to pandemic and the rural job-crisis is still continuing. There are no suggestions for job generation which is the dire need for revival of economy. Rather the allocation for jobs and skill development is reduced by 35%. There are hollow claims that the jobs will be created through projected Investments, which is a sheer sound-bite with no substance  given the track record of the Government and the private corporate despite huge concessions granted to them during last six years. There was urgent need for urban employment scheme to address the distress caused in the cities during Covid -19 and increasing high unemployment rate. Even the allocations for ICDS and Mid-day-meal faced a drastic cut in the Budget.

The budget gives olive branch to the defaulters to continue their loot of peoples money with declaration that the files of more than three years period of income tax defaulters will not be opened. There is another tax holiday year for the Start Up projects as well as concessions on their capital gains. Service sector and specially the hospitality industry which suffered hugely during lockdown has not received attention of the government. Once again the myth is repeated that with growth, jobs will automatically get created. While talking of migrant workers, none of the necessary concerns of theirs was taken note of but the only statement comes about extension of one year for credit relief for housing.

All announcements on infrastructure spending as in the past do not give any guarantee of things getting implemented and the five states are specially targeted keeping forthcoming elections in mind.

The budget on health allocation is much below the ground the expectations if we recall the ridiculously low allocations in the previous budgets; this ignores the grim reality of our poor public health system at all levels which needs immediate serious attention. It is totally ignoring covid-warriors like health, sanitation workers, and unorganised at large. Also, this budget does nothing to strengthen the purchasing capacity of common people and thus revival of economy.

The education is also ignored and talk of opening 100 Army schools through NGOs raises several doubts on the intentions of the government as because the existing Army schools about 39 are under neglect.  

MSME sector, worst affected during pandemic with workers losing crores of jobs, does not receive the needed attention of the government for its revival.

There is no relief to the farmers’ rather the government has only announced the increase of threshold for taking loans. It is a cruel joke on the farming community which is already finding itself in tight corner and is already entrenched in debt. The demands of the farmers are totally ignored rather the farm laws are being praised by the government as a boon to them, when they are braving all odds seeking their total repeal.

The budget has totally ignored the poor masses and their needs. The Government has stood for the Corporates and abandoned the common masses pushing Indian economy further into mess.

In the given background the joint platform of Central Trade Unions and the independent sectoral federations/associations calls upon the unions and working class to observe nationwide protest on 3rd February demanding

  1. Scrapping of labour codes and electricity bill 2020

      2    No privatisation

      3    Income support and food support to all poor workers’ households

      4    Against anti-people policies as reflected by union budget

Protest day to be observed through massive demonstrations/mobilizations at the workplaces, and industrial centres/areas and also burning the copies of the Labour Codes.

The Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions and Independent Federations calls upon the trade unions and workers in general to carry on intensive campaign in all the workplaces and in residential areas throughout the country against the destructive anti-worker, anti-farmer and anti-national policies of the Govt. and make the above programmes a massive success to pave the way for further combative struggles including multiple day’s strike in the days to come to fight, defy and resist the destructive and anti-national policy regime. 

        INTUC                     AITUC                    HMS                     CITU                       AIUTUC

          TUCC                SEWA                      AICCTU                     LPF                    UTUC

                                And Independent Federations and Associations

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