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RSS affiliate BMS calls for stimulus to put economy on track

The trade union wanted the government to increase the work days of employment guarantee scheme MGNREGA from present 100 days to 200 days per year and link it to agricultural works.

Image: Reuters Image: Reuters

Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), the trade union affiliated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological mentor of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has sought a stimulus package from the Central government to generate employment in labour intensive sectors and thereby contain the slowdown in Indian economy.

The trade union wanted the government to increase the work days of employment guarantee scheme MGNREGA from present 100 days to 200 days per year and link it to agricultural works. "It should also arrange payment of wages directly to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries on the next working day itself. This will soothe India's large rural economy. MGNREGA is now in a crisis in many states because of nonpayment of wages even after six months", Saji Narayanan, National President of BMS said.  

BMS attributed the current slowdown in economy to the "wrong direction of economy and job displacing reforms followed as a continuation of UPA policies". "PM's good intentions and efforts are neutralized by lack of proper experts, lack of communication and feedback from social sectors (which includes labour, farmer, BPL, tribals, backward people, micro industries etc.), dependence on faulty advisors and misguided reforms", Narayanan stated.

Pointing out that excess thrust on jobless growth had resulted in loss of employment instead of job creation, the labour union criticized the government's labour law reforms for proposing hire and fire, labour cost reduction, labour displacing technologies, disinvestment, ban on recruitment, abolition of posts and staff, automation etc. "FDI had already destructively affected our micro and small scale sector as well as retail trade sector. Many of the financial activities of Government including Banking activities are also getting slowed down due to lack of sufficient employees. Hence Government should retract from the present reform process. Ban on recruitment has to be lifted in a real manner and new recruitments should be started", BMS demands.

The trade organisation also cautioned the government against the possibility of stimulus package benefitting the private and corporate sector, more than the common man. "Stimulus package should directly benefit the three highest employment generating sectors viz. agriculture, small scale sector (including those in manufacturing sector) and construction sector as well as other such sectors like beedi etc.  Agriculture sector should be revived by providing more subsidy, loan waiver and other measures. Purchasing power of the workers especially in the unorganised sector which constitute 93.7% of total workers should be strengthened by assuring minimum wages in time. This will radically stimulate the growth trajectory", BMS suggested.   

BMS asked the government to call a round table meet of all the stakeholders in the social sector, including labour, to discuss economic concerns.