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Union Budget 2018: RSS affiliate BMS dubs it ‘labour unfriendly’, to stage protest

The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh said the Union Budget presented by finance minister Arun Jaitley failed to address outstanding concerns of the labour sector.

india Updated: Feb 02, 2018 09:13 IST
Smriti Kak
Smriti Kak
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Union Budget,RSS,Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh
The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh says the Union Budget 2018 failed to address concerns of the labour sector. (Reuters Photo )

The labour wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological mentor of the ruling BJP, has called for a country-wide demonstration on Friday to protest against the “labour unfriendly” budget.

The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) said the Union Budget presented by finance minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday failed to address outstanding concerns of the labour sector.

BMS president CK Saji Narayanan said the focus on rural development, agriculture, health and infrastructure is a welcome move, but the Narendra-Modi led National Democratic Alliance government ignored anganwadi workers, ASHA karmis and other scheme workers who are the “backbone of welfare schemes, but continue to remain poorly paid.”

He also claimed that benefits of boost in revenue collection due to widening of the tax net, spike in digital transactions and introduction of GST regime were not passed on to the “middle class, for whom there is no revision in tax emption.”

The BMS is also not enthused with the announcement to cut women employees’ contribution to EPF to 8% for startups.

“The increase in take home salary of women will reduce 16% of their future EPF savings when they leave their establishment, so this is not a welcome step,” Narayanan opined.

The BMS also opposed the announcement of fixed term employment to be extended to all sectors. “All labour related changes in law have to be discussed in the tripartite forum before being finalised. The draft notification on fixed term employment was issued in January and is pending consultation with trade unions, it is improper for the government to unilaterally announce it in the Budget,” the BMS chief complained.

The farmer’s wing of the RSS while welcoming the measures announced to boost agricultural production, urged the union government to ensure proper implementation of the schemes.

“As a first step, the BJP governments in 19 states must ensure that the schemes are implemented properly. Also, the government should have given grants to farmers for animal rearing because that forms the basis of organic farming,” said Badri Narayan Chaudhary, general secretary of the The Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS).

He said instead of increasing allocation for food parks, the government should have incentivised cottage and small scale industry as it would offer farmers an additional source of income.

The budget however received a thumbs-up from the Swadeshi Jagran Manch, the economic-wing of the Sangh.

SJM’s national co-convenor Ashwani Mahajan said the government has paid heed to their demand to focus on farmers, unemployed and the poor.

“Measures such as offering Kisan Credit Cards to fisheries and animal husbandry farmers will go a long way in securing their income. The proposed National Health Protection Scheme to cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families by offering coverage up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization is also a welcome move,” Mahajan said.

First Published: Feb 02, 2018 09:13 IST