Revision in base year for consumer price index is anti-worker, says CITU

‘It will lead to suppression of the real impact of price rise, harming the interests of workers’

October 24, 2020 05:31 am | Updated 05:31 am IST - NEW DELHI

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) on Friday said the revision of the base year for the consumer price index for industrial workers (CPI-IW) from 2001 to 2016 announced by Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar would lead to suppression of the real impact of price rise, harming the interests of workers.

“The entire exercise made by the Labour Bureau functioning under the Ministry of Labour on this matter has been thoroughly arbitrary, deliberately designed to suppress the real impact of the price rise of essential items for human survival and also to deprive the workers of their entitlement for legitimate DA [dearness allowance],” a statement by CITU general secretary Tapan Sen said.

The bureau had ignored the fact that prices of essential items, in particular food, were on the rise, while reducing the weight given to food items in the consumption basket from 46.2% to 39%, the CITU said.

“The Minister’s statement justifying this arbitrary reduction as change in the consumption pattern of the working people away from food item is ridiculous and cruel inhuman joke,” the statement said.

The CITU said employers had been asking the government to freeze the variable DA payment to workers as a relief to them during the economic slowdown and that the revision in base year had provided the employers that through the backdoor.

“The CITU denounces such an anti-worker, pro-corporate step by the BJP government and calls upon the workers and unions to protest and oppose the nefarious design to loot the workers and the people for the benefit of the corporate class,” it said.

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