Pre-budget meeting of BMS leaders with Finance Minister
Demanding 12.5 per cent interest rate on Employees Provident Fund (EPF), Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) has urged the Union Finance Minister to fix the minimum indexed pension of Rs 3,000 per month for the beneficiaries of Employees’ Family Pension Scheme. In its pre-budget consultations with Union Finance Minister in New Delhi on January 16, the BMS said: “At the time when bank deposit rates are touching 11 per cent interest returns due to inflation, the rate on EPF has unjustly been capped down at 8.50 per cent and the investors of the EPF scheme are held much below the market rates. Therefore, the interest rate for EPF should be hiked to 12.5 per cent per month. Likewise, the minimum indexed pension for EFP employees should be fixed at least Rs 3,000 per month.”
Demanding revision of the minimum wages, the BMS said the provisions of minimum wages are quite inadequate and need immediate revision. The effort to jack up the table to bring into play the notions of fair wage and living wage envisaged in the Constitution of India have remained only on papers and those who draw fair wages are without protection of trade unions, thanks to the wrong policies of the government.
In the memorandum submitted to the Finance Minister the BMS expected that the budget for the year 2012-13 would infuse the swadeshi spirit and encourage the Indian buyer to buy Indian commodities. “Having organised mass rallies, squatting programmes, mass processions and courting arrests, now the unity of the central trade unions will organise all India Industrial Bandh on February 28, 2012,” the BMS memorandum said.
“There was an amendment mooted to the Gratuity Act that the amount would be properly protected through insurance, but so far that has not been notified by the government. As a matter of relief the payment of gratuity is free from income tax. But those workmen who have secured a better benefit are required to pay tax on surplus amount. The BMS demands that this tax be done away with now up to Rs 10 lakh,” the memorandum said.
The BMS also demanded immediate action against the media houses which have not yet implemented the recommendations of Majithia Wage Board for journalists and non-working journalists despite the notification of the recommendations by the government. About the MGNAREGA the BMS said the working days under the scheme should be increased to 200 days from the present 100 in a year. Similarly, the employee working on these schemes in the name of Gramsevak/Gramsathi/Muster Clerks who are working on contract with meager income should be made permanent. Lifting the ban on recruitment, extending the social security by a suitable budgetary support, bringing domestic workers, Asha workers and Vidya volunteers, guest teachers, Shiksha Mitra, mid-day meal workers, Anganwadi workers, sales/medical representatives, etc on employment schedule, lifting the poverty limit of and accommodating the people in the precarious employments within the scope of the various Government schemes are the issues which need urgent attention of the government and there is no better occasion that this budget of 2012-13, the memorandum added.