Central Trade Unions reject finance ministry’s 3-minute pre-budget consultation offer, to boycott deliberations
New Delhi, Nov 26, 2022
A joint forum of 10 Central Trade Unions have rejected the finance ministry’s “3-minute offer” to join virtual pre-budget consultations with the finance minister as unreasonable and a “joke” and said they will boycott the deliberations since nothing meaningful can be conveyed in only 3 minutes.
In a letter to the CTUs, the finance ministry said each participating central trade union will be allotted three minutes to make their suggestions.
Pre-budget consultations are an annual exercise in which different sectors make their representations and voice demands they would like addressed in the budget.
The finance ministry has been hosting physical pre-budget consultations with various groups. On Friday, the FM met chief ministers to hear their demands. That deliberations with labour unions have been restricted to the virtual mode has irked the organisations, leading them to oppose the move in writing.
“Your email dated November 25, 2022…makes it explicit that each central trade union will be allowed to speak for three minutes. This is a joke and we refuse to be part of such a cheap joke. We will not participate in the proposed video conference on November 28, 2022,” the CTUs said in a letter to the FM.
It also urged the finance ministry “to seriously reconsider convening of a physical meeting with reasonable time-allotment for effective consultations in the pre-budget meeting with the trade unions.”
Communist Party MP Binoy Viswam also wrote to FM Nirmala Sitharaman, “vehemently opposing” the decision to restrict deliberations with CTUs and asked whether such a “deplorable treatment” would be accorded to industrial and corporate organisations like CII or FICCI.
Viswam said CTUs’ discussions with Union labour and employment minister Bhupender Yadav earlier remained inconclusive and this made it all the more necessary for the FM to hold a meaningful discussion with labour organisations to address labourers’ issues.
The ten trade unions which form the forum are INTUC, AITUC, TUCC, SEWA, HMS, CITU, AICCTU, LPF, AIUTUC and UTUC.
There are about a dozen central trade unions in the country, including RSS-affiliate Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS). The BMS is not part of the joint forum.
[The Times of India]