Staff Correspondent

MANGALORE: The Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU) will jointly organise district-level rallies, dharnas and protest meetings throughout India on April 18 to project the demands of workers and farmers, CITU vice-president V.J.K. Nayar said here on Tuesday.

Keeping the prices of essential commodities under check through farmer-friendly policies such as subsidies and State procurement was one of the main demands, he said.

Another demand was the introduction of a comprehensive Central law for unorganised workers, which would include farm workers. The bill should regulate the working conditions of all workers in the unorganised sector, said Mr. Nayar.

The CITU would demand that the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act should be implemented effectively, and made universal by covering the urban poor as well. Although the Act had been introduced in 11 districts, there was not enough monetary support. This situation should be corrected, said Mr. Nayar.

The organisation would demand that the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) was universalised and the working conditions of anganwadi workers were improved. Another demand was to ensure cheap credit to farmers and farm workers and to cancel the debts of poor farmers in distress. CITU would demand that land be distributed among the poor with a special emphasis on Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

"We will demand that Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Act be amended to protect the interests of farmers," he said.