State has failed to create adequate jobs for rural and urban masses, says Party Congress
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Thursday expressed concern at job loss growth, growing contract system and the increasing number of suicides among farmers, and alleged that the Indian state had failed to create adequate jobs for rural and urban masses.
The Party Congress here said the National Sample Survey data for 2009-10 showed a sharp decline in employment growth from an annual rate of 2.7 per cent during 2000-05 to a mere 0.8 per cent during 2005-10.
Growth of non-agricultural employment fell from 4.65 per cent a year to 2.53 per cent, even when the GDP clocked 8 per cent, a resolution adopted at the Congress said. Even the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) could not ensure 40-50 days of work per household a year, despite its statutory provision to create 100 days of work.
Condemning the recruitment ban by the Central government and public sector units, the resolution opposed the policy of abolishing vacant posts in government departments. It demanded that the ban be lifted and the policy revoked. It wanted the government to provide unemployment allowance, extend the MGNREGA to individuals, launch an urban employment guarantee scheme, enhance financial support for self-employment schemes and release the employment data along with the quarterly GDP estimates.
As for the contract system, the resolution said the Central and many State governments were shamefully pursuing neo-liberal policies that led to the system. “In the name of making industries competitive and attracting investments, the Central government has permitted [a] gross violation of the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970, by the private and public sector,” it said. The law prohibited contract employment in jobs of perennial nature. The practice was widespread in the manufacturing, service and government sectors, and rampant in the unorganised sector.
Through another resolution, the Party Congress supported the struggles of contract workers and trade unions demanding an end to the “exploitative” contract system in regular jobs, and amendments to the Act to regularise the services of workers in jobs of perennial nature. Till then, such workers should be paid wages equal to those of a regular worker, along with social security benefits.
A resolution on farmers' suicides and the agrarian crisis noted that 2.56 lakh farmers had committed suicide between 1995 and 2010 and the persisting trend showed that the partial debt relief given by the UPA government in 2008 was a failure.
It demanded that the recommendations of the National Commission for Farmers be implemented; subsidies restored; the public distribution system expanded; a special sub-quota for agricultural credit by banks to small and marginal farmers created; a comprehensive crop insurance scheme introduced; and a fund opened to assist farmers affected by crop losses.