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Modi Budget in Amrit Kaal:

Poison for the Common People! Amrit for the Corporates!

Arise in Anger!

Join the Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Rally on 5th April 2023!

The budget 2023-24 was the last full budget for the Modi led BJP government as Parliament elections are due in the first half of 2024. Being a pre election budget, people expected that at least in this budget some measures would be announced that would provide relief; that their burning issues like unemployment, price rise etc would be addressed. Such impression was fuelled by some sections in the media. But their expectations were belied. The budget 2023-24 proved to be yet another exercise by this Modi government to continue its policies of heaping burdens on the people and providing concessions to the big corporates, the Super Rich and its cronies, another move to forward its neoliberal agenda.

The deteriorating living conditions of workers, farmers, agricultural workers and all sections of toiling people is reflected in the sluggish growth in the consumption expenditure, which, at less than 5%, was less than the rate of growth of GDP between 2019 -20 and 2022-23. It means that people are cutting down their consumption because they have no purchasing power. Prices are shooting up. Thus there is a fall in real wages. Wages are not keeping pace. Incomes of small and medium farmers are also falling. Jobs are being lost. Permanent employment is becoming scarcer by the day. Common people are compelled to spend more on private health care and private education by incurring huge debt at high rates of interests, pushing them into indebtedness. Unable to bear all these burdens, not only the peasants but also agricultural workers and daily labourers are committing suicide. 1.12 lakh daily wage earners, 66,912 housewives, 53,661 self-employed and 43,420 salaried persons, 43,385 unemployed youths, 31,839 engaged in the farming sector such as cultivators and agricultural labourers committed suicide in three years. The suicide rate of daily wage labourers has increased steeply from 2019.

The Modi government turned a blind eye to all the problems of the common people. The budget does not address the issues of unemployment, malnutrition, falling living standards for large sections of the people. It has squeezed government expenditure on social sectors and provided tax reduction to the Super Rich. It has diverted public money to build and transfer infrastructural assets to its private corporate cronies.  

Food security: The number of hungry in our country increased from 19 crores to 35 crores since the pandemic began up to November 2022. One would expect that the budget would strengthen the public distribution system. But, this budget has the drastically cut down subsidy to FCI by 36%. The subsidy for decentralised procurement under National Food Security Act has been reduced by 17%. The allocation for mid-day meal (PM-POSHAN) has been cut down by 9.4%; that for micro-food processing enterprises by 29% and nutrient based subsidy has been cut down by 38% - all from revised estimate of FY 22. The gross subsidy on food has been slashed down from Rs 2,87,194 crore to Rs 1,97,350 crore, i.e. by 31%. At the same time, the effective tax rate on the Super Rich has been lowered from 42.7% to 39%.

Public health and education: The pandemic exposed the pathetic condition of public health especially in rural India. Instead of enhancing, this Modi government budget has reduced the allocation in Ayushman Bharat scheme by sharp 34% and in National Health Mission by 1% from last year’s estimated budget. Amidst the surge of massive drop-out from school and digital divide in education, the allocation in education empowerment scheme is drastically cut down by 33% from last year’s estimates; the allocation to National Education Mission is cut down by 2%. There is no increase for ICDS schemes and the anganwadi workers and helpers. There is massive 46% reduction in Central Sector Schemes/ Projects, 13% slash down in research & development, 18% education in environment protection.  Clearly, this Modi led BJP government wants to ransack the public health and education system, depriving the poor of the basic right to universal and free health and education.

Employment: While the economic survey lauds the MGNREGA scheme as not only employment generator, but as a rapid asset creator for national economy, the allocation to MGNREGA has been cut down by 33% from last year’s revised estimates. The rural employment budget has been slashed down from Rs 1,53,525 crore to 1,01,475 crore, by 34%. Thus, the budget has blatantly neglected employment generation, a vital issue for the common people. Allotment to National Livelihood Mission has been curtailed. The allocation for highly boasted Atmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana has been reduced by 65%. This budget has reduced the investment in PSU by 11%. 

There is nothing about employment creation in the informal sector, about GST relief and release of large outstanding payments for MSMEs. There is nothing about raw material price control and no plan for demand creation.

Agriculture: The economic survey has repeatedly asserted that agriculture and allied activities have kept the trajectory of Indian economy to some extent during the global crisis. But, the gross allocation in agriculture has been reduced by 7%, the allocation in PM-KISAN has been cut down by 11.76%, to Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana by 31%, to Krishi Sinchai Yojana by 17% and to Krishionnati Yojana by 2% from last year’s budgeted estimate. Fertilizer subsidy has been slashed down by 22%, urea subsidy by 15% from last year’s revised estimates. The budgeted allocation for crop insurance scheme is cut by 12% from last year’s estimate. The Green Revolution, PMM-MIS (crop price support scheme) and PM-AASHA (for ensuring MSP) have been wiped out.

Housing and social welfare: The government claims of a huge increase in allocation to the much tomtomed housing scheme. But the reality is that the allocation to the scheme, which was Rs 90020 crore in FY 21, has been drastically cut down to Rs 77130 in FY 22. This has now been marginally increased to Rs 79 590 crore but is still much lower.

Funds for Umbrella Programme for Development of Minorities have been cut by 66%. The fund for pension has been slashed down by 4.2%. The allocation for maternity benefit scheme Matru Vandana Yojana has been cut down by Rs 40.15 crore. The gender budget is only 4.9% of the total expenditure; SC budget is mere 3.5%, ST welfare allocation is only 2.7%. Most devastatingly the petroleum subsidy has been reduced by massive 75%, the LPG subsidy by 61%! The attack is atrocious, brutal and planned to turn Indian people into slave of Super Rich.

Thus, the first budget in the so called Amrit Kaal, which is also the last full budget of this government, has turned out to venomous for the people. Probably the BJP-RSS want to rely more on their communal divisive agenda.

The workers, peasants, agricultural workers, and all other sections of the toiling and progressive people of our country cannot allow this attitude of imposing burdens on the toiling people and allowing huge concessions to the big corporates. They cannot allow the continuation of the disastrous neoliberal policies that have been ruining the livelihoods of the toiling people, the country’s self reliance and sovereignty. They have to be vigilant, protect and strengthen their unity to fight and defeat these neoliberal policies and the Modi government that is committed to neoliberalism.

The 5th April 2023 ‘Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Rally’ called by CITU, AIKS and AIAWU, three major organisations representing the workers, peasants and agricultural workers, who produce the wealth of our country is to fight and defeat these disastrous policies reflected in the budget and for alternative pro worker, pro peasant and pro people policies. It is to save our country and save our people from the ruinous corporate communal nexus

Come on, let us join en masse!

Sunday, 19 March 2023 16:09

Talking Point 3 - Scrap the Labour Codes


One of the chief defining characters of the present political dispensation’s economic governance, inter alia, is its intransient push for rolling-out the labour reforms in India. The BJP government, immediately after assuming power at the Centre, embarked upon labour law codifications exercise, a euphemism for corporate unbridled process of profit maximisation at the cost of labour, so as to overhaul the entire gamut of capital-labour relations to the tune of neo-liberal regime. It is well acknowledged that super-profiteering by capital is dependent on the flexibility that exists within labour relations. Such flexibility has been made more ruthless by the so called labour reforms. The origin of the neo-liberal assault on labour rights can be seen in the recommendations of the second national labour commission (2002) during the NDA’s first spell under Vajpayee.

The BJP government, immediately after assuming power for the second time under Modi in May 2019, with absolute majority in the Lok Sabha, started to legalise more aggressively all their attacks on whatever labour rights that exist in our labour laws. While the Code on wages was passed in Parliament in 2019, the other three codes were passed in September 2020 without any debate when the entire opposition was absent as it boycotted Parliament over the notorious farm Bills.  

The overhauling of the 29 existing labour laws into four labour codes – the Code on Wages, the Industrial Relations Code, the Code on Social Security and the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code- is aimed at substantially eliminating all their protective components in terms of rights, wages, social security, health and safety and welfare benefits. They are part of the neoliberal regime that seeks to change the entire gamut of capital labour relations and push out even major sections of workers in the organised sector, not to speak of the unorganised sector workers, from coverage by most labour laws. It is part of the neoliberal regime.

The Code on Wages, 2019;

The Code on Wages subsumes four wages/ bonus related Acts that existed till then. But in reality, what it does is selectively incorporate some of the provisions while diluting or removing many to the advantage of the employers. It does not incorporate the basis for fixing minimum wage, recommended by the 15th Indian Labour Conference (ILC), way back in 1957 and reinforced by the Supreme Court in its judgment in the Raptakos and Brett case in 1992. This formula was reiterated again and again in the 44th ILC (2012), the 45th ILC (2013) and the 46th ILC (2015), the last being the only ILC held under the Modi regime. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour also recommended incorporating this unanimous recommendation of the ILCs.

After the Bill was passed in Parliament, the Draft Rules were notified in November 2019, seeking comments. The formula for fixing minimum wage was included in the Draft Rules. The trade unions gave their detailed comments on that. But, strangely, instead of finalising and notifying the Rules, the BJP government has again notified the Rules in July 2020. Till today, the government has not notified the final Rules. Is the inordinate delay in notifying the Wage Code Rules due to the pressure of the employers, to remove even the reference to the formula from the Rules? The workers are genuinely apprehensive of the BJP government’s intentions, given its history of going to any extent to serve its corporate masters.

The fixation of minimum wage, calculation of bonus and their prompt payments without any delay/denial along with ensuring the payments of wages/remunerations and other payments like overtime allowances/incentives and other payments incidental to wages are supposed to be the main focus of this Code. But, everything has been diluted here.

The Occupational Safety, Health and working Conditions Code, 2020

It seeks to amalgamate and subsume thirteen enactments related to factories, mines, dock workers, building and other construction workers, plantation workers, contract labour, inter-state migrant workers, working journalists and other news paper employees, motor transport workers, sales promotion employees, beedi and cigar workers, cine workers and cinema theatre workers.

All basic worker-related aspects of the 13 laws,are going to be repealed by the OSHWC, pertaining to working conditions, principal employers’ obligations in case of contract work, clear-cut definition of wage, basic components and details of occupational safety and health as available in the parent laws, tripartite implementation mechanism etc and above all enforcement - everything has been diluted and/or grossly altered only and only to the advantage of their masters -the capitalists - in their mad drive to ensure ‘ease of doing business’. Through this enactment, violation and loot on workers by the employers are being sought to be legitimised.

One thing needs to be noted in particular. The sector specific Acts, which have been repealed dealt with working conditions, employment relations, safety and other related matters taking into account the sector specific work patterns, processes,  problems and issues. This was the case in Acts related to construction, beedi and cigar, mines, and docks workers, working journalists, sales promotion employees, motor transport workers etc. This ensured some protection to the concerned workers. Repealing all these, the OSH Code seeks to define working conditions of all in the same ‘one model fits all’ manner. As a result, most of the workers in the unorganised sector, as in beedi and cigar, construction, motor transport, and major sections of working journalists, migrant workers, contract workers will be the worst to suffer as their working conditions will be subject to arbitrary interpretation by the employers with a helping hand from the ‘appropriate government’.

The Industrial Relations Code, 2020:

The Industrial Disputes (ID) Act deals with the basic rights of the workers to organise themselves in trade unions, collectively agitate and act against exploitation and intrusions on their basic rights and also the right to grievance-redressal. All these basic rights are sought to be totally curbed in the IR Code. Gross changes are sought to be made in the character of the employment relations by introducing temporary and fragile work relations through fixed term employment, contract work etc in the name of flexibility. Once this is achieved, employers and their representative governments need not bother at all, even if some rights and facilities for the workers remain on paper. They can rest assured that these will remain only on paper so long as workers in fragile and precarious employment relations devoid of the right to organise, the right to collectively bargain and act will be in no position to get them implemented. With the Damocles’ sword of losing jobs and income hanging above their heads, the employers feel reassured that workers will not dare to form unions and fight for the implementation of these rights. Without such rights and initiative from the workers and a supportive government and pliant administration on their side, they feel they will be under no threat or challenge to their unbridled exploitation of workers. 

It legally arms the capitalist class with comprehensive instruments to suppress the workers’ right to strike, drastically curb workers’ rights to fight for their demands, make it almost impossible for them to get organised into trade unions. It is nothing but a direct affront on the workers’ right to freedom of association and collective bargaining – provided by the core Conventions 87 and 98 of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). It is nothing but a blatant attempt by this government to ensure a “trade union-free work place” for its corporate masters. In addition, the employers’ liberty to hire and fire has been well assured in the Code. That is the core element of neo-liberal trajectory that BJP government sincerely adopted and implemented through this piece legislation.

The Code on Social Security, 2020:

In fact, in the Code on social security, existing legally prevalent social security rights and provisions for a large sections of workers in the industries like beedi, iron ore mines, mica mines, limestone and dolomite mines are thrown to total uncertainty, practically to oblivion by the government’s own act of abolishing all the related provisions of cess collection. Nothing has been proposed to them in this code. The unorganised workers are left in lurch without any government commitment for fund allocation so as to address the minimum social security measures.

Thus the Code on Social Security, under the deceptive claim of rationalising the existing social security schemes including EPF and ESI, has actually laid the foundation of the process of dismantling this time tested social security schemes by open endedly empowering the central government to reduce the rate of contribution, change the existing EPF scheme (obviously to benefit the employers’ class), exempt any establishment from the EPF schemes and provisions and finally allowing any establishment to exit from the EPF obligations altogether. The Code created the enabling arrangements for self-elimination by empowering the government to demolish the EPF scheme altogether at appropriate time as their corporate masters desire.

On gratuity, the unanimous demands of the entire trade union movement are being continuously ignored by the government and the same is reflected in this Code also. Gratuity is a retirement benefit after long years of service and there should not be any restriction /ceiling either on entitlement, eligibility and calculation. But that just demand is not taken into consideration in the Code.

Labour Codes betrayed the Scheme Workers.

All persons employed in any trade or industry is eligible to register trade unions including unorganized workers. This requirement for registration, ostensibly, similar to that was under the Trade Unions Act, 1926. But the more than one crore-strong militant Schemes workers like Anganwadi workers are left out of this definition in the Industrial Relations Code which subsumed the Trade Unions Act, though they all were recognized as ‘workers’ in the 43rd Indian Labour Conference. Therefore, they do not fall under the ambit of Industrial Relations Code leave alone the rest of three codes.

Thus 29 existing labour laws have been repealed and replaced by these four labour codes. With all their limitations and shortcomings, all these 29 Acts were intended to regulate the workplace from unhindered exploitation by the employers and to provide some rights and benefits to the workers. Once the labour ministry of central government finally notify the Rules, these 29 labour laws would no more exist.

The entire codification exercise is full of stipulations like “as may be specified / as may be prescribed/ may be framed”, in respect of almost all substantive provisions of the Codes for any change to be made in future in the provisions of working hours, safety and health and criteria/norms for minimum wage, entitlement, contributions and benefits and also on the aspects remaining undefined in these Codes. Any future change in many substantive provisions of the Act can be made through executive decision by-passing Parliament and also by-passing all the stakeholders, the workers and their unions in particular.

All these Codes and enactments are thus aimed at institutionalising virtual conditions of slavery on the workers and to facilitate the project of the ruling class and their pet government to eliminate almost all statutory entitlements of working people for defined working conditions, minimum wage, working hours and social security along with right to organise, right to collective bargaining and right to strike etc both directly and circumstantially.  Along with these, the very provisions of inspection, which is the lifeline of implementation of the labour laws, have been practically done away with.

That is why the entire trade union movement is strongly opposing these labour codes and demanding scrapping of these. The organisations of the peasants and agricultural workers, and all sections of progressive people are extending their support to this demand. This is one of the major demands of the Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Rally on 5th April 2023.

Let us all, from every village and every workplace join the Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Rally and intensify our united struggles against the labour codes and force the Modi government to reverse its anti worker anti people neoliberal policy regime. As the peasants, with the support of the workers have done in the case of the farm laws.


The current struggles of the people of various sections of India against notorious attempts of privatization of electricity might be the most prominent embodiment of Mazdoor-Kisans’ slogan of resistance and defiance. The latest instance is obviously the valiant victory of united struggle of Maharashtra electricity workers and people against the criminal intrusion of Adani in most revenue generating distribution areas.

In November 2021, finally after prolong head-on battle with the corporate-Modi government duo, the historic Kisan struggle compelled the government to bow down and issue written declaration not to go for Electricity (Amendment) Bill along with repealing of three draconian firm laws. But the notorious deceptive government broke its promise under the dictate of its corporate masters by re-introducing the Electricity (Amendment) Bill in 2022. And certainly after that, the focus of all anti-privatisation struggles of electricity sector has now boiled down to the struggle against this autocratic deceiving move of the Central Govt. In clear words, the clear objectives of this Bill are to privatise electricity distribution; to turn already financially stressed state distribution companies sick to gift-over at throw away price to corporate; and to destroy huge public service infrastructure of state DISCOMs built since independence with public money through blood and sweat of the electricity employees. Notoriously disintegrating the generation and transmission utilities, the final prey of private monopoly capital is the state distribution sector.

What was the post Independence power policy of our country? In independent India, State Electricity Boards (SEBs) were constituted for rapid electrification of the country, under the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1948. Their major objective was extending electricity to the entire country, including village electrification, as an essential service for the socio economic development of the country. They were given the task of pump set electrification for irrigation of agricultural fields in the villages, to enhance food production. Around 2 crore pump sets were energised by the SEBs. Because of these efforts, India became a food surplus country from a food-deficit nation. Through seven decades of their service to the country, SEBs and public sector electricity distribution companies (DISCOMS)were able to electrify 6 lakh villages and 25 crore households.

During early days of independence, expansion of electricity sector was conceived as a project of serviceprovider to the entire economy and society, not with profit orientation; it was conceived to be for  promoting industrialisation, expanding MSME segment of the industrial and service economy as largest employment generator outside agriculture, expanding agriculture, horizontally in particular to achieve self-reliance in food production and other areas. Instead of earning profit themselves, the electricity sector was supposed to promote profit-making and employment generating industrial, service and agricultural economy on the one hand and ensure electricity services to every household up to the remotest corner of the country on the other. The onset of neoliberal policy regime acted in sabotaging this national developmental perspective and the corporate-communal-nexus  in governance jumped with fangs and claws finally to destroy the  state-run electricity  distribution network to impose unbearable burden on people and the economy including agriculture only to benefit their handful masters among private corporate, both foreign and domestic.    

Up to late ’80s, the Power-policy in India was focused around developing indigenous and self-reliant electricity expansion programme. With around 10% average annual growth in installed generating capacity and consumption, the average electricity price in the country remained one of the lowest in the world.  Indian indigenous plants and equipments were cheaper by 50% compared to imported system.

With the onset of neoliberal regime, the contribution of the SEBs to the socio economic progress of the country, in providing electricity to the requirements of domestic purposes, agriculture, industry, transport, health, education, science and technology was sought to be negated to disarm and un-popularise the public service. The whole anti-people electricity reform process has to be deciphered in this political context.

The Disastrous 1991 Reform: At this historic juncture of Indian power sector, GoI opened up power generation to private and foreign sector companies. Already Indian Power sector entered into a disastrous path. During mid seventies SEBs had an operating surplus equal to 24% of their revenue earning while by 1990-91 they were incurring financial losses around 30% amounting Rs. 4320 crores. So, it was a 5 fold increase in the tariff but a steep inversion from profit to loss.

Providing quality electricity in adequate measure at minimum costs to the national economy - the fundamental policy objective of the power sector was replaced by the profit-oriented commodification of electricity and wider participation of private sector. Though the tariff was increasing continuously (from 105.4 paise per KWH in 1992-93 to 240 paise per KWH in 2001-02), the steep input cost was raising the gap between average cost of supply (ACS) and average revenue realization (ARR) and hence loss started to mount hugely.

False and Failed projection: Electricity Act (EA) 2003 and National electricity Policy (NEP 2005): The next onslaught on Power Sector came through the imposition of the Electricity Act in 2003. It was meant to distance government from regulation of electricity business with the goal of privatisation and commodification. Generation was de-licensed and a provision for private transmission and distribution licensee was introduced. The Act provided for unbundling (read forceful disintegration of the synergised togetherness of generation-transmission-distribution sector) of the SEBs. This Act entailed the entry of speculation in the electricity industry without any material investment. The Electricity Act, 2003 prescribed the abolition of cross subsidy and the mandate to GoI to wash its hands from the responsibility of rural electrification especially targeting the small and middle peasants of India. In spite of wide scale contractorisation, franchising, and outsourcing it callously failed to provide cheap and affordable electricity to the common people.

Modi Regime: most atrocious onslaught ever: In course of these gross debacles, the current anti-people regime of Modi-Govt. unleashed the final blow on the public electricity sector policy of India. This government is incessantly pursuing the Electricity Amendment Bills since 2014, just after taking charge of the Government. Notoriously Modi government has imposed multiple taxes and duties on coal including royalty on basic price (14%), Goods and Services Tax (5%) and GST Compensation cess (Rs 400 per tonne), corporate taxes and higher railway freight charges. These taxes imposed a huge burden of tariffs to the end consumers. On the other hand, in the name of disastrous 'hair cuts', big corporates are transferring assets among themselves at a hugely discounted liability - the losers being public sector banks and hence the people.

Heinous NITI Ayog’s prescription will destroy the public electricity sector in India: In midst of these, the NITI Ayog 2021 policy paper has blatantly proposed to destroy the state-owned DISCOMs, though globally 70% of the distribution utilities are public owned except the higher-income countries. While promoting de-licensnig (to hand-over the public distribution infrastructure to private players), horizontal un-bundling of the discoms and short-term power procurement, atrociously NITI Ayog has stated “the Act requires that cross-subsidies and surcharges be progressively reduced and eliminated within three years by ensuring that the reduction in cross subsidy is not less than six percent every year.”

The withdrawal of cross subsidy is the last murderous blow on Indian farmers: The cross-subsidy pattern in India was established through long struggle. In India, the heavy industries with large capital and high revenue generation capacity who consume higher quantities of electricity are paying cross subsidy to sustain the agriculture, MSME and household consumers within their affordability. It was pivotal to build India’s food sovereignty and small-medium commodity production network. It assisted the farmers and unemployed youths to survive at least with bare minimum income.  If such support is withdrawn, it will lead to abrupt increase in price of retail electricity, and promote unemployment further, consequent defaults in payment and eventually the forceful disconnections and denial to electricity service.

Irrigation costs will rise. Farmers who are already in an acute agrarian crisis and facing escalating costs of cultivation, facing huge risks will again be pushed to a situation of complete dependence on unpredictable rains for cultivation. A shift to Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) for agriculture will deny the real cultivators- the landless, tenants/sharecroppers who pay for the electricity. The deceiving case of DBT is already apparent to everyone through the experience of mounting price of cooking gases re-pushing them towards non-LPG fuels.

The Disastrous Electricity Amendment Bill 2022: In course of this whole reform onslaught, the Electricity (Amendment) Bill was brought in. The key Provisions of the Electricity (A) Bill-2022 are: abolition of licenses for distribution i.e. de-licensing of distribution; unbridled grant of permission of distribution to private players just through an application to appropriate commission and the specified qualifications and fees to be prescribed by the Central Government i.e. Infringement in the State Government’s domain; permission to private distribution companies to supply electricity in their choice of areas (read most profitable cherry-picking areas) within Municipal Council or Corporation or revenue district or a smaller area as notified by appropriate Government; distribution can further be entrusted to an individual who need not to register separately; State distribution companies are bounded to provide their distribution infrastructure for use of private distributor almost free of cost.

In a nutshell, private distributors will have to make no investment in creating distribution infrastructure; only have to pay a nominal fee for its use; state DISCOMs will be forced to offer their infrastructure to their competitors; the responsibility of incurring expenditure on maintenance, losses and network development will remain with state DISCOMs. On the other hand, private distributors can demand compensation in case of breakdown; private generators will enjoy advantages as private distributors.

When there are multiple distributors in a territory, the private distributors will offer incentives to lure profitable and large customers initially like telecom sector (especially the example of JIO) and then will enhance the tariff as per their monopoly control over the supply-system. State DISCOMs will not be able to compete due to their universal supply obligation, vast customer base and costs associated with past regulatory gaps. State DISCOMs will be left with small and unprofitable and far-away customers. The losses of state DISCOMs will have to be made up by people’s money. Ultimately DISCOMs will be fully privatized at throw away prices.

This bill will compel the state DISCOMs to be a customer of renewable generation companies while 96% of India’s renewable power production is in private sectors. Failing the targets set by Central Government there is provision of steeper penalty mechanism on state DISCOMs. According to the Bill, supply of electricity to state DISCOMs may be stopped by NLDC if there is any delay in payment and state DISCOMs will be driven out of business. This bill is anti-worker as jobs of 15 lakh workers will be at stake, anti-farmer as it will snatch away the cross subsidy and anti-people as it will increase tariff-rate and deteriorate the services to the remote village areas.

The Unbundling onslaught is the Dictate of Private-Monopoly: The whole recourse to the power reform programmes in India or in Global level exposes the desperate dictate of the WB-IMF to unbundle-disintegrate the state monopoly power sector. The global experience of unbundling is nothing but the privatization of state utilities in throw away prices.

The opening up of commercial energy market, smart metering and renewable generation with real-time purchasing will enhance the fluidity and hence financialisation of electricity service. The whole reform process is private financial monopolisation of the electricity sector. 

The Maharashtra electricity workers explained the danger of Adani intrusion in distribution sector to the people and the people vehemently participated in the struggle. They brought 31 different unions together, made step by step plan to reach all section of workers and consumers, they held massive protests and rallies and finally went for indefinite strike. The government was compelled to bow down. The same resistance took place in Haryana, Chandigarh, J&K or Puducherry. Wherever we could bring all section of workers and the toiling masses in action to resist and defy the corporate run government, the people have emerged victorious. Truly days are coming when the anti-privatisation movement, the movement to save the interest of people and toiling masses can build an army of resistance to fight this corporate communal nexus. And movement to save the Right to Electricity will be cardinal to this. This is a battle India can’t afford to lose.

Let’s join April 5th Mazdoor- Kisan Rally in thousands demanding….

Roll Back the Electricity Amendment Bill 2022!

Roll-Back the Pro Corporate Reforms!

Electricity is not a Commodity but a Right!

Talking Point – 1

 Mazdoor-Kisan Sangharsh Rally-2


5th April 2022



Pension is not charity. It is a basic right of people who have contributed all their lives to the development of society, to lead dignified lives in their old age without being at the mercy of others. It is the responsibility of any elected government to ensure universal old age pension to all its citizens.

India does not have any universal social security system to protect its working people.

Several pension schemes do exist covering different sections of population like the non-governmental organised sector workers, the government employees, farmers, unorganised workers etc. On the whole, all these schemes taken together are estimated to cover only 58 million people, or around 12% of the workforce, according to the 2011 census. The 2020 National Commission on Population report estimated that there will be nearly 13.8 crore elderly people (persons aged 60 or more) in India in 2021.

Instead of extending coverage and improving benefits, the governments committed to the neoliberal order that have been trying to squeeze and curtail pension benefits.

Let us have a look at the existing pension schemes, their coverage and how this hard won right of the working people is being diluted.


The Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS) is implemented by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation that manages the EPF of the workers. Only the workers’ money from the provident fund is heavily diverted to the pension fund. Employers practically do not contribute anything to the pension fund as it is only their statutory share to the provident fund that goes to the pension fund.

It is estimated that 26 crore workers were members of EPFO as on March 2021. But on an average, only 4.6 crore members were actively contributing. The number of pensioners under EPS was only 69.2 lakhs. Not all, but only low income EPFO subscribers are covered by pension. Not all workers earning above Rs 15000 per month are covered by pension.

Modi led BJP government has been trying to deprive the workers even of the limited benefits under the EPS. It announced its intention to tax EPF amounts, but had to withdraw after massive protests. Then, it announced that workers cannot withdraw their own money in EPF accounts till their superannuation, but had to withdraw this decision too because of strong opposition from workers. But despite opposition from all central trade unions, it is investing 15% of annual accruals in the share market and is planning to increase the same. The interest rates of EPF corpus have been continuously reduced. This reduction of interest rates in all the saving schemes is aimed at driving the funds to the share market.

The EPF and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 has been subsumed under the Code on Social Security, which proposes to reduce the contribution rate of both employers and workers to 10% from the present 12%. The workers can contribute more than 10% if she/he desires, but the employer has no obligation to pay more than 10%, thus enabling the employers covered by the EPF Act to save hundreds of crores of rupees. In addition, huge numbers of establishments and employers are left uncovered by EPF

EPFO had given an option of EPF and EPS contributions beyond the wage ceilings i.e. for the full wages, if employee and employer had agreed. This was in existence till August 2014. But many workers who had contributed for full wages were not getting increased pension. Though the Supreme Court provided some relief to the workers, the government is not willing to comply and only issued a toothless circular to obfuscate its failure to implement the Supreme Court judgment in letter and spirit.

Over time, EPS 95 has become a mockery; so far minimum admissible pension is concerned. Lakhs of workers are getting less than Rs 100 per month as pension. As the demand for increasing minimum pension became widespread, the UPA II government decided to increase minimum pension to Rs 1000, but failed to implement it. The present NDA government started implementing it in 2014, but with some conditionalities and formulae to keep pension as lower as possible. Large numbers of pensioners are still getting less than Rs.1000/a month as pension despite the relentless persuasion of the trade unions and pensioners to hike pension amount.   

In August 2019, the CBT recommended that minimum monthly pension payable to member/widow/widower pensioners may be raised to at least to Rs.2000 per month provided the government of India extends budgetary support for the same on yearly basis. But that was put on cold storage. In March 2021, the Standing Committee on Labour also recommended to increase the minimum pension amount from Rs 1000 to Rs 3000.

The demand of for monthly pension of Rs 9000 is based on the premise of pension being 50% of the last drawn salary and takes into the statutory minimum wage of 18000 per month announced by the Central government to its employees.


Till 2003, government employees were covered by the Old Pension System (OPS). Under OPS, on retirement, employees who worked for ten years or more, received 50% of their last drawn basic pay plus dearness allowance or their average earnings in the last ten months of service, whichever was more advantageous to them, as pension. OPS was discontinued by the BJP led NDA government in December 2003. The New Pension System (NPS) came into existence on 1 April 2004.

Until then, the pension system for government employees are pay-as-you-go defined benefit plan. Defence and railway employees, seamen, coal miners, Assam Tea Plantations, and some public sector entities had their own independent pension plans on par with the central government employees.

Under the NPS, those employed by the government contribute 10 percent of their basic salary to NPS, while their employers contribute up to 14 percent. Private sector employees can also participate in the NPS voluntarily, although some rules have changed. NPS is basically a market linked, defined contribution scheme without defined benefits and guaranteed pension. All central trade unions and government employees’ associations have been opposing the NPS and are on war path since its introduction. Because of their consistent struggle some state governments have decided to restore the OPS. But the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority is not ready to return back the money that was so collected in the name of NPS to these states.

Pension for farmers

Under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maandhan Yojana, a voluntary and contributory pension scheme, the small and marginal farmers having not more than two hectares of land can avail a monthly fixed pension after attaining the age of 60 years. They have to contribute Rs 55 to Rs 200 per month, depending upon their age, to the pension fund managed by LIC. Modi had announced this scheme in 2019 with his patent rhetoric that it would cover five crore farmers. But, as of now, only 21.4 lakhs farmers are enrolled.

Pension for unorganised workers including Agricultural Workers

Just before the 2019 general elections Modi announced what he claimed is a ‘mega pension scheme’, the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan for unorganised workers including agricultural workers. This is also a voluntary and contributory scheme where workers in the 18 -- 40 years age group have to contribute Rs 55 to Rs 200 per month till they attain the age of 60, after which she/he would receive a minimum assured pension of Rs 3000/- per month

There are approximately 42 crore unorganised workers in the country. But so far only 43.98 lakh people have been enrolled in this so called ‘mega pension scheme’!

Other pension schemes

Rs 200 per month is given as old age pension to BPL persons aged 60 and above under Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS) under the National Social Assistance programme (NSAP). The NSAP covers around 4.2 crore beneficiaries.

Here it is pertinent to mention that some state governments have been paying Rs 2000 or more as old age pension in their respective states without any contributions from the beneficiaries at all. Kerala Government is paying Rs1600 to all senior citizens including EPF pensioners who are getting less than Rs 1000 pension from EPF-95 scheme.

Life insurance sector has a core beneficiaries of around 1.0 crore. Mutual funds have about 27 lakh folios. Other entities such as coal miners have about 20 lakh provident fund beneficiaries.

Private pension funds

Under the current neoliberal regime private pension fund companies are getting entrenched. They have been advocating to get rid of government guaranteed pension schemes. The corporate servile Modi regime is doing everything to dismantle the state assured pension schemes and allowing private pension merchants, including foreign pension funds to loot the workers and the people. International finance capital and its political operatives are hell bent to swallow the entire available corpus of the pension funds throwing the pensioners to the mercy of global financial markets!


Hence, CITU, AIKS, AIAWU demand; -


  • Universal pension to all old aged population not less than Rs. 3000 per month
  • Scrap the NPS; restore OPS
  • On EPS-95 we demands
  • Increase government contribution to the EPS-95 from the existing 1.16%of basic wages (basic pay plus dearness allowance) to 8.33% as recommended by the Parliament Committee on Petition headed by Shri Bhagat Singh Koshiyari.
  • Implement the Supreme Court Judgment dated 4-11-2022 on EPS-95
  • Exclusive contribution to pension fund by the employers
  • Minimum monthly pension of not less than Rs.9000
  • No statutory wage ceiling on pensionable salary; it should be the last drawn pay and not the average of 60 months
  • Indexation of pension.
  • Universal coverage of all workers irrespective of wages and number of workers employed.

The working class movement is facing tremendous challenges as well as opportunities

Tapan Sen

There is continuing systemic crisis of the capitalist order and its retrograde reflections on all aspects - political, economic and societal governance; in the authoritarian and divisive onslaughts by the ruling classes powered by corporate-communal nexus in governance in all fronts with clear fascistic intent.

The voice of disapproval and unrest of working people is becoming louder and widespread, bringing forth the reality of determined organised combat. We must vigorously work to bring this reality into concrete action by intensifying the united struggles both at sectoral and national level with continuity. The response of the toiling people in the calls of united struggle, sectoral or national, has been quite encouraging.

But, the opportunities have to be availed and potentials harnessed through conscious organized initiatives and that has to be done by the working class.

In this context, CITU has been adopting three pronged approach of developing united struggles for a determined combat– first, to strengthen independent actions and interventions of CITU; second, to step up the joint trade union movement, both sectoral and general; and third, to widen and deepen the Workers-Peasants unity and intensify their joint countrywide movement up to the grass-root level.

The Workers-Peasants unity in action is the most crucial necessity of the time, which has the tremendous potential of being instrumental in drawing the entire people in the determined combat against the perverse anti-people as well as anti-national design of the corporate communal nexus defeating the diversionary game plan of the ruling class.  This  has already attained a new height, and has to be heightened further. Their united struggles -- both by workers, the peasantry and agri-workers, on their respective demands and mutual supportive actions by each of the segments in support of one another’s struggles has already attained  a common point of culmination. All of them are confronting the onslaught of big-corporate-led governance together with communal divisive machinations affecting the lives and livelihood of the people and the society as a whole; and on the national economy.

In this direction, CITU had been taking the initiative since long to regularly hold joint exercise of CITU-AIKS-AIAWU to develop joint campaign on issues, carrying that initiative to grass root level with maximum participation and visibility. This initiative got a major breakthrough in 2018 when a massive country wide ‘Jail Bharo’ movement was organised on 9 August by these organisations which could reach the majority of the districts. It was followed by ‘Mazdoor-Kishan Sangharsh Rally’ on 5 September, 2018, which was biggest ever workers-peasants militant mobilization in the National Capital in post Independent Period.

The decades’ long working class actions and interventions against the neoliberal onslaughts could maintain continuity even after outbreak of Covid pandemic culminating into series of successful All India General Strikes even during 2020, and 2022 along with umpteen numbers of sectoral struggles and strikes which witnessed massive countrywide active support from peasantry.

And around the same period, different peasant organisations were also active in cementing deepened unity-in-action to assert more joint actions and interventions against the neo-liberal policy regime, which has already been aggravating agrarian crisis to an alarming level. In that context, we witnessed countrywide combative joint struggles by farmers, agricultural workers with the active support of working class movement which could make the RSS-BJP dispensation to kneel and compelled the Government to shelve the retrograde Land Acquisition Ordnance and anti-farmers Farm Laws.

The historic General Strike by working class of 26 November, 2020 also coincided with the beginning of historic more-than-year long farmers struggle against retrograde anti-farmer anti-people farm laws, engineered by the RSS-BJP Government bulldozing the Parliament. Now repealed, these farm laws were enacted targeting the destructions of peasants-agricultural productions to ultimately facilitate complete corporate takeover of the entire agricultural economy. The valiant protracted farmers struggle also demanded withdrawal of Electricity Amendment Bill (2020), designed to put an end to public sector power distribution system and large scale privatization.

The historic more than a year long farmers struggle also witnessed massive active support and solidarity actions by the working class movements countrywide with CITU in the frontline. All the programmes of sit-in demonstrations, agitations, Bandhs, spearheaded by SKM were pro-actively as well as physically supported by the entire working class movement. CITU played a crucial role in solidarity with those struggles.

In this process, in all subsequent occasions, SKM also extended their unfettered support to the struggles and agitations organised by Joint Platform of Trade Unions. These struggles and agitations by the two producing classes further consolidated the workers-peasants unity in action against their common enemy - the corporate-communal nexus in the Government. Every piece of struggles exhibited durable visibility.

The emerging workers-peasants united and concerted initiative, joint agitational activities against corporate loot and plunder of national wealth, corporate assault on lives and livelihoods of mass of the toiling people are becoming a gradual visible reality, which is of crucial importance in raising the united peoples struggle against the destructive anti-national neo-liberal policies together with virulent poisonous communal blitzkrieg on the society. And this tenor of struggles needs to be carried forward to further heights.

In this background, the Mazdoor Kisan Adhikar Mahadiveshan on 5 September 2022 decided to organize a massive Mazdoor Kisan Sangarsh Rally on 5 April 2023 as  the  culminating point of six months long joint  exposure campaign and mobilizations at the grass-root level preceding to that, and this is going to be the beginning of the new phase of relentless united fight of the workers, peasants and agricultural workers, the wealth creators of our country, to change the policies in their favour, not the few big Corporates, domestic and foreign and also the save the national economy from the destructive policies of the corporate-communal nexus in governance.  This is going to be will be the largest ever militant class mobilizations in the history of independent India.

The Rally is for expressing resolve in fighting back and resisting the barbarous regime of loot and plunder on the people reflecting  through – the relentless rise in prices, job losses, unemployment, worsening working and living conditions, rampant privatisation to hand over our national assets to the private Corporates, commercialisation of education, health and all other services, to throw our peasants and workers to the mercy of the monopoly multinational companies, the attacks on the democratic and workplace rights, violation of Constitutional and Parliamentary norms and practices, the cruel oppression of minorities, dalits, adivasis and women. Each and every one of these is linked to the neoliberal regime being adamantly and aggressively carried on by this BJP government; all in a desperate bid to protect the profits and wealth of its corporate masters.

While we make efforts to heighten united struggles against neo-liberalism, we have to simultaneously expose the poisonous divisive and diversionary designs of the corporate-communal nexus behind the present regime and mobilise all sections of the working class and toiling people against this. Hence, the Workers-Peasants joint struggle-initiatives, the united assertion of the two main producing classes of the society, must confront head-on the poisonous Hindutva project, premised on majoritarian communalism, politically and ideologically, at all levels upto the grass root level; while carrying on the struggles against the neoliberal corporate plunder-against their common enemy. We must prepare and equip all our cadres and activists for this combat as an integral part of our task of intensification of joint workers-peasants actions.

These three organisations will conduct massive campaign through distribution of leaflets, posters, wall writings, group meetings, jathas, processions etc on the issues and demands including local demands during the intervening six months, aiming to reach the unreached.

It must be kept in mind that the historic farmers struggle has compelled Modi govt to repeal the farm laws but at the same time govt despondently engaged in to push through privatization and corporatization of agriculture through back door channels. Despite giving firm commitment to farmers’ organisation on putting in place a statutory MSP regime along with an effective procurement machinery, the Govt is going back to gradually finish the MSP system itself, as reflected in the latest budgetary exercise.  It must also be kept in mind that Modi regime has become desperate in pushing through its destructive anti-national agenda on the political, economic and societal governance for their own class interest to facilitate criminal expropriation by the corporates, both foreign and domestic, on the people as well as the national wealth.

It is not the without reason, the Joint Platform of Trade Unions has termed their united struggles programmes not merely for upholding workers rights but also to safeguard the rights and entitlements of the  people and national interests from the destructive fallouts of corporate loot. Similarly, the SKM also, while asserting their demands for statutory MSP and legally guarantied procurement and other demands; trained their guns at big corporate community, which has been actually running the Modi Regime.

During the intervening period, we need to reach the working people in entirety with the call of the more direct combative struggles and the ugly face of the anti-national; anti-people destructive policy regime affecting the people, the society and the democratic system itself needs to be exposed. The intense grass-root level campaign among the workers and the people on the real face of the destructive policy regime and their perpetrators in governance and their poisonous role of creating disunity and disruption of among the people and the society to camouflage the crimes being committed on the people and the national economy needs to thoroughly exposed so that people can identify their real enemy. The 5th April Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Rally must be the culmination of such countrywide grass-root level exposure campaign and mobilization, paving the way for further heightened struggle against the corporate-comunl nexus in governance.  

The 17th All India Conference of CITU adopted a resolution on 5 April 2023 rally, stressing upon the call of intensive door to door and workplace level intensive campaign given by Mazdoor-Kisan Mahadhiveshan of 5 September 2022. The Conference called upon all its committees and committee members up to the primary unit level to further intensify the ongoing campaign reaching the family members of our members, reaching workers beyond our periphery, that these policies of the government lie at the root of each and every issue of the workers and toiling people and miseries being faced by them; that achieving their most genuine demands requires the decisive defeat of the communal corporate nexus in governance.

The CITU conference planned a concrete time bound action plan of program for the days ahead till the day of the rally. All the State committees of CITU should urgently meet to review the campaigns already undertaken and their coverage, to further intensify the campaign including preparatory steps for mobilization in the Rally and also to monitor their implementation up to the primary unit level.  CITU has chalked out a phased program for another round of house to house campaign followed by area-mahalla level programmes including jatha/padayatra etc followed by area level mobilizations to be undertaken by lower level coordination committees.

The common enemy has been identified by the producing classes of the society and against that a consistent protracted class war must be waged. The poisonous divisive machinations of the BJP regime is not going to get a walkover in the background of united struggles, with continuity, by the working class, the peasantry and the agricultural workers against these policies; and coming together of all sections of toiling people voicing their opposition to this barbarous regime gradually overcoming the poisonous divisive, disruptive and diversionary designs of the ruling classes and their present political agents in governance. People are ready to respond. We must reach them with the hard truth. Let’s make this Mazdoor Kishan Sangharsh Rally 2, the biggest ever militant class mobilization in the history of Independent India. 

The Modi-led BJP government is going all out to ensure ‘Amritkaal’ for cronies like Adani and Ambani by exploiting and looting workers and peasants. Pro corporate policies have brought the daily life of producing classes under heavy inflationary pressure. Prices of all essentials-rice, wheat, pulses, milk, curd, vegetables and so on are made to escalate. 

Unemployment is at an all-time high and socially marginalised sections are especially affected. While being utter insensitive to the burning problem of unemployment, the Modi regime is doing everything to annihilate existing legal rights of workers including minimum wages, eight hour working day and right to organise and do away with projects like MGNREGA which legally guarantee employment. In industry, employment relations are restructured to generate unbridled profit for corporates. Pro corporate agriculture policies of Modi regime are making agriculture unsustainable for all layers of peasantry while the written agreement to the farmer’ organisations, including that for guaranteed remunerative price, during the historic farmers’ struggle has been totally negated. Legal entitlements of the people for food , health and education are being curtailed.

The same time all democratic institutions are being dismantled and democratic rights are being curtailed. All voices of dissent against the ruling dispensation is met with draconian acts like UAPA. Communal venom is spread by the ruling RSS- BJP dispensation to divide the unity of the people on real issues.

In this premise, the wealth producing classes of India—workers, peasants and agricultural workers— under the leadership of Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) and All India Agricultural Workers’ Union (AIAWU) have jointly decided to intensify our ongoing struggles.

In a massive convention held in Delhi on 5th September 2022, it was decided to take up these issues to the people and mobilise them on demands of pro-people policies to ensure basic right to food, health, education, employment and fair and remunerative prices for our produce and fair and living wages for our work. As the culmination of this joint campaign, we are marching to Delhi in ‘Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Rally’ on 5th April 2023 demanding a life of dignity and security, a life that is free of fear and hatred towards each other. 

This is in continuation of our ongoing struggles in different joint platforms of workers and peasants – Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions and Samyukta Kisan Morcha. This joint campaign and mobilisation will further consolidate and advance the joint struggles of the workers, farmers and agricultural workers.

To make Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Rally on 5th April 2023 a grand success, preparations are ongoing at State, District and local levels. Massive campaigns through distribution of leaflets, posters, wall writing, group meetings, jathas and processions are taking place throughout the country. There is an overwhelming enthusiastic participation of people in all forms of campaign. 

In the preliminary estimates, the mobilisation will exceed that of the Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Rally, the first one of its kind held on 5th September 2018 jointly by CITU, AIKS and AIAWU.

We call upon the workers, peasants and toiling masses of our country to March to Delhi on 5th April 2023 for dignity and rights. We call upon the people of India for solidarity, support and participation. 

Issued by,

Tapan Sen                                                Vijoo Krishnan                               B Venkat

General Secretary                                   General Secretary                    General Secretary

CITU                                                          AIKS                                                     AIAWU


 Annexure; The demands of the Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Rally

The demands of the Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Rally

1)    Ensure Minimum wages @Rs26,000 pm and Pension @Rs10,000 to all workers including the scheme workers; No contractorisation of work; Scrap Agnipath Scheme

 2)    Legally ensure MSP @C2+50%for all farm produce with guaranteed procurement

 3)    One time loan waiver by the Central government to all poor and middle peasants and agricultural workers; pension to all of them above 60 years

 4)    Scrapping of four Labour Codes and Electricity Amendment Bill 2022

 5)    Job security and guarantee for all; Expand MGNREGA and increase workdays to 200 with minimum wages @Rs600 per day; Pay all pending wages; Enact a National Urban Employment Guarantee Act

 6)    Stop Privatisation of PSUs and Public Services; Scrap National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP)

 7)    Arrest Price Rise, Withdraw GST on food items and essentials; Reduce the central excise duty on petrol/diesel/kerosene cooking gas substantially; Withdraw the increase in price of cooking gas forthwith

 8)    Universalise the Public Distribution System (PDS) and expand its scope to include 14 essential items; Ensure food and income support to all Non tax payer families

 9)    Stringent implementation of the Forest Rights Act (FRA); withdraw the amendments to Forest (Conservation) Act and Rules that allow the union government to permit clearance of a forest without even informing the residents.

 10) Stop repression of the marginalised sections and ensure social justice

 11) Ensure universal and quality Health and Education for all; Scrap New Education Policy (NEP) 2020

 12) Ensure Housing to all

 13) Tax the Super Rich; Enhance Corporate Tax; Introduce Wealth Tax

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) empathetically condemns the brutal and barbarous attack on a delegation comprising Left and Congress MPs visiting violence hit areas of Tripura , untethered by BJP ruffians at Sipahijala district in Tripura. An orgy of organized violence that unleashed in Tripura soon after the announcement of assembly election result on March 2, 2023, is being continued, this time BJP rowdies did not even spare the  lawmakers of the country, the vile attacks on Left-Congress delegation  exculpates that BJP led State Government flagrantly patronizes such organized brutal attacks with a fascistic intent.

A fact finding team of MPs and MLAs of Left and Congress which arrived Tripura to look into the State Government sponsored Post-poll violence, was attacked by BJP miscreants at Nehalchandranagar in Sipahijala district, Once the delegation landed at Nehalchandranagar Market, they were attacked by the BJP goons raising slogans of ‘Jay Sri Ram’. One car was severely damaged while two more cars were also vandalized, with the police being a mute spectator.  At least 20 shops were gutted in the post poll violence at  Nehalchandranagar, a border village of Bishalgarh Sub-division on 8th March, 2023  and after the delegation reached the spot in the afternoon of 10th March, 2023,  to take stock of the situation it came under attack. 

CITU demands upon the Tripura state administration and law enforcement machinery to immediately intervene to restore law and order and put a stop to this  on-going violence and ensure protection and democratic rights to all in particular that of supporters  of opposition parties.

CITU calls upon its members and unions to organise protest actions against this bloodthirsty onslaughts of democracy and unbridling of terror politics by BJP in Tripura.

Issued by
Tapan sen
General Secretary

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) congratulates the striking State Government Employees, Teachers and Non-Teaching staffs of West Bengal for their successful strike action on 10th, March, 2023, at the call of Joint Platform of the employees, teachers and non-teaching staffs, demanding Dearness Allowances with all arrears, recruitment of vacancies with transparency and regularization of irregular and contractual employees, stop politics of division and to restore democracy in the state.

The West Bengal State Government has become an enemy of its own employees since its inception, known for its anti-democratic arrogance towards every section of working people. In the state budget for 2023-2024, the government announced only a mere 3 percent hike in DA, despite 32 percent DA falling overdue that enraged the state government employees.  

Braving all repressive, prohibitive and punitive measures by the state government, striking employees picketed before the gates of state government offices and educational institutions demanding that DA to be raised to the level of central Government employees, the striking employees squatted in front of the gates of State Government Offices like Writers Building, Bikash Bhavan, Khadya Bhavan , Kolkata Municial Corporation, Shilpo Bhavan and many other places. The similar protest and demonstrations were witnessed in district headquarters town, block development offices and municipalities and panchayats.

CITU fully supports the demands of the state government employees of West Bengal and demands upon the West Bengal State Government to resolve the legitimate demands of the employees. CITU, while expressing solidarity to the striking state government employees of West Bengal, denounced anti democratic arm-twisting act of West Bengal Government.

Issued by
Tapan Sen
General Secretary


Centre of Indian Trade Unions condemns the authoritarian move of arrests/repression on the peacefully striking employees and engineers of Electricity sector in Uttar Pradesh by the BJP Govt in the state.

At the call of Vidyut Karmachari Sanjukta Sangharsh Samity, electricity employees and engineers in Uttar Pradesh have been on three day’s strike demanding nothing more than implementation/honouring  of the agreement/understanding with the state government arrived at on 3rd December 2022. The Govt has gone back from the assurance/agreement without any rhyme or reason. After more than three months long persuasion by the unions having failed, the SanjuktaSangharshSamity decided for a three days strike action that started on 16th March 2023 while simultaneously pursuing the state govt to honour the agreement of 3rd December.

The strike was total by the employees and engineers enmasse despite threat and intimidation by the state administration. The BJP Govt, true to its anti-people authoritarian undemocratic character has now decided to pounce upon the striking employees and their leaders through mass scale arrests and other intimidatory actions  besides mass scale suspension of the striking employees and engineers.

The SanjukataSangharshSamity is determined to continue and heighten their struggle against the state Govt’s highhandedness despite committing grave offence of breach of agreement.  The National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers (NCCOEE) has already decided to hold countrywide protest action.

CITU denounces the authoritarian and highhanded action of the BJP Govt on the peacefully striking electricity employees and engineers. CITU calls upon the working class and its affiliate unions in particular to organize protest actions throughout the country in solidarity with the striking electricity employees of Uttar Pradesh.

Issued by
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

The Hon’ble Minister for Finance 
Government of India
New Delhi-110001

Dear Madam,

Sub: Govt order on AADHAR link with PAN

The Finance Act, 2017 with effect from 1st April, 2017, has inserted section 139AA in the Income-tax Act, 1961, making it mandatory for a taxpayer who is eligible to obtain Aadhaar, to quote his/her Aadhaar in the application form for PAN and submitting the return of income. Thus the sub-section (2) of section 139AA of Income-Tax Act makes it mandatory for every person who has been allotted a PAN as on 1st July, 2017 to intimate his/her  Aadhaar Number so that the Aadhaar and PAN can be linked. This is required to be done on or before a notified date, failing which the PAN shall become inoperative.

We have serious reservation on making the Aadhar linkage with everything universal and compulsory. That apart, here, the manner the provision of Aadhar linkage with PAN is being sought to be implemented, requires serious reconsideration and review even for the sake of ensuring coverage of all the tax payers as well as PAN card holders within the stipulated date. 

I understand that last year, in March, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) issued a circular stating that the PAN issued to a person would become out of service, if it is not linked with AADHAR by March 31, 2023, and would be accountable to all the consequences under the Income-tax Act, 1961, for not furnishing, intimating or quoting the PAN. This is required to be done on or before the notified date, falling which the PAN shall become inoperative.

I like to impress upon you that such circulars/notifications issued by CBDT or any other government agency or the provisions of IT Act in this regard still remained  unnoticed by majority of the population as a result of which common citizens would naturally become the ultimate victims. Kindly also appreciate that wide publication to get the AADHAR – PAN linkage should have been given by the government before contemplating any such drastic penal actions on the gullible citizens and honest taxpayers of our country.

In view of this, I would request you to intervene and arrange to extend the facility of such AADHAR – PAN linkage free of any cost for at least a period of another one year, if not more, and for which wide publicity through electronic and print media be given so that common people can avail the procedure and are not subjected to any penal action like the PAN becoming inoperative.

Your urgent intervention is solicited.

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

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