Take part in pre-budget meet with Union Finance Minister
Nine central trade unions, which attended the pre-budget meeting with Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday, have accorded top priority to bringing down inflation and the prices of essential commodities.
BMS all-India president Girish Awasthi and general secretary K. Lakshma Reddy, who participated in the meeting, wanted employment opportunities to be improved by lifting the ban on recruitment in State and Central governments and more budgetary allocation for social security measures for the unorganised sector.
Besides, they wanted anganwadi workers to be made government employees and substantially increase the wages of ASHA and mid-day meal workers. Services of workers in ICDS, vidya volunteers etc should be regularised.
Among the other demands put forward by the trade unions were raising the income tax exemption limit to Rs.3 lakhs; banning the entry of MNCs and corporate in the retail trade and forward trading of commodities; giving top priority to agriculture sector by ensuring remunerative price to farm commodities and increasing public investment in agriculture; universalisation and strengthening of the public distribution system; stopping disinvestments in central public sector undertakings and making the stimulus packages being given to industry conditional by banning retrenchment, VRS, lay-offs, closure and wage cuts and insisting on creation of employment; and rationalisation of taxes and levies on petroleum products.
Representatives of INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, AICCTU and UTUS participated in the meeting and signed the joint memorandum.