Trade unions slam “corporate-friendly” Budget 2021

None of the demands raised by trade unions incorporated, says BMS

Several central trade unions, including the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, said the Budget was against the interests of workers, while promoting those of corporates.

The All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) said the Budget repeated earlier announcements made by the Minister.

“The workers and farmers are ignored in favour of looters of our national assets. The Budget continues in the direction of selling our public sector banks, disinvesting LIC up to 75% and pursuing the disinvestment and privatisation moves in the already announced profit-making public sector enterprises and further adding in the list,” an AITUC statement said.

The AITUC said the Finance Minister had not addressed concerns of migrant workers when speaking of them, nor had she mentioned the issues of the fishing community, instead focusing on development of harbours.

Anti-worker labour reforms

“The anti-worker labour reforms which are being vehemently opposed by the trade unions find favour with the Finance Minister…The Budget has totally ignored the poor masses and their needs. Once again this government is batting for the corporates and abandoning the common masses pushing Indian economy further into mess,” it said.

While congratulating the government for the vaccination drive, scheme for tea workers and development of five fishing harbours, the BMS said speaking of the Atmanirbhar Bharat or self-reliant India on one hand and pushing for FDI and disinvestment on the other was disappointing.

“The government’s proposals to amend the Insurance Act to increase FDI in insurance sector from 49% to 74% as well as relaxation of foreign investments in infrastructure sector will increase foreign dependence and should be reconsidered…None of the demands raised by the BMS and other trade unions has been incorporated in the Budget except a special scheme for tea workers in West Bengal and Assam, thus making the consultation process a mockery,” a BMS statement said.

The BMS said the Budget lacked a concrete proposal for boosting demand by increasing wages or basic income of workers.

Destructive, says CITU

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) termed the Budget “destructive’, in a statement.

“The Budget 2021-22 demonstrated the continuity of same cruel indifference to the continuing distress and sufferings thrust upon the mass of the working people…The statement of the Finance Minister citing labour codes, that they will ensure universal social security and statutory minimum wage for all is totally devoid of truth. These labour codes are going to abolish all labour rights including that to even ask for social security and minimum wage and that is why the entire trade union movement has rejected forthright these labour codes and demanded their scrapping,” the CITU statement said.

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