RSS trade union slams NITI Aayog, says ‘land sharks’ behind disinvestment plans | india-news | Hindustan Times
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RSS trade union slams NITI Aayog, says ‘land sharks’ behind disinvestment plans

The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, which represents over 5,000 affiliate unions, asked the government to revisit the composition of Niti Aayog because it ‘represents only corporates’ in its present form.

india Updated: May 27, 2017 22:45 IST
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh was particularly averse to last week’s cabinet decision to disinvest Janpath Hotel in Delhi.
The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh was particularly averse to last week’s cabinet decision to disinvest Janpath Hotel in Delhi.(Arvind Yadav/ HT photo)

The trade union arm of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has trained its guns on the government for pursuing disinvestment and acting on the advice of policy think-tank Niti Aayog, which has been dubbed as an “expensive exercise with lopsided intellectuals”.

The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), which represents over 5,000 affiliate unions, asked the government to revisit the composition of Niti Aayog to include representatives of women groups, labourers, farmers and those from the medium and small-scale sectors. It also wants the disinvestment policy revisited because many decisions on this front have been “influenced by land sharks”.

“As of now, Niti Aayog only represents corporates; it does not represent India. It has taken on board people who have probably not even visited a village, but are making decisions for those who live in villages,” Pawan Kumar, the zonal organising secretary of the BMS, said on Saturday.

The BMS, at its annual two-day meeting in Kanpur last week, passed a resolution demanding reorganisation of the government think-tank, and demanded that it should “remove the entire anti-worker proposals and action plan document on Labour and Employment” from its website.

This is not the first time NITI Aayog has been criticised by an RSS offshoot. Earlier, the Swadeshi Jagran Manch held a two-day brainstorming on the utility of the government think-tank, and said it has failed to incorporate people’s aspirations in the field of policy-making.

The BMS, which has often been accused of going soft on the government by backing out of trade union protests at the eleventh hour, has threatened to take to the streets on June 22-23 to protest against the Centre’s alleged anti-labour policies. This would be followed by a demonstration outside Parliament in November, Kumar said.

Last week’s cabinet decision to disinvest Janpath Hotel in the Capital has further aggravated the trade body’s disenchantment with the government’s policies. “If the government is unable to manage the administration, it should give us the enterprise. We will run it and make profits,” said Kumar.

The union leader said the hotel was deliberately mismanaged, with no efforts being made to even claim rent from offices that occupied its space for the past few years. “Disinvestment is being orchestrated under the influence of the land sharks,” he added.

Besides this, the BMS vetoed a proposal to merge various employee provident fund entities into one, investing the money from these into the stock market, and raising a corpus for senior citizens. It has also called for constituting the third press commission as labour laws are being flouted, and replacing the press council with a media council to ensure that electronic and digital media enterprises are included in its ambit.