BMS demands legislation for social security
Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) has demanded a clear scheme in the forthcoming budget seeking comprehensive legislation for agriculture labour, an umbrella legislation for un-organised workers and a comprehensive legislation for social security. According to BMS, a general consensus has already been arrived at all these issues. After meeting the Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on January 12, 2006, Shri Girish Awasthi, BMS president said that the welfare schemes needed central financial assistance or budgetary support. He added that the government also must invest in the welfare sector.
On employment creation, Shri Awasthi urged the government to lift ban from the recruitment and also frame a national technology policy for creation of more jobs. Demanding the immediate abolition of contract labour, he said the rampant use of contract labour must be stopped with stern action and also the regulation of services is the need of the hour. ?Low wages, insecurity in service, absence of social security are such elements that need to be done away with,? Shri Awasthi added.
About the income tax, the BMS president demanded exemption of income tax on income upto Rs 2 lakh and do away with filing of returns for salaried employees in case of no refund. He also demanded the scraping of the provision of the Income Tax Act claiming the filing of return on trade unions. About the attempts from vested interest to remove chapter V (B) of the I.D. Act 1947, he said this caused a great hardship in matters of closures and retrenchments to labour. ?All central trade unions are unanimous in as much as retaining the legal protection under chapter V (B) is concerned,? he said, further coming down heavily on the government over the growing hire and fire system.
Shri Awasthi urged the government to retain the EPF interest rate at 9.5 per cent. ?BMS is confident that this can be done provided the government shows inclination and will power,? he added. The BMS also opposed the corporatisation of security of printing press and mints. Shri Awasthi said the BMS was opposed to the move of the Union Cabinet that on September 2, 2005 took a decision for corporatising nine mints and security printing press. ?The Fifth Central Pay Commission had recommended for the formation of a board instead of corporation, in the pattern of Ordinance Flying Board or Railway Board. Ministry of Finance should review this decision,? Shri Awasthi said, further appealing to the government not to disinvest the profit making PSUs. The BMS also sought a directive to all PSUs to procure 70 per cent of their purchases from the small-scale industries.
Shri Girish Awasthi also raised the issue of Anganwadi workers who do not get their salaries on time. ?Though the central government is releasing funds for ICDs projects, in most of the states the State governments are not paying salaries to the Anganwadi employees regularly. In some cases salaries are not paid for 4-5 months, as a result the workers are put to much financial hardship. Therefore, the government should ensure that the salaries are disbursed every month on schedule,? he added.