Trade Unions want the government to assign more funds for employment generation in the upcoming Union budget, also stating that 100 percent FDI in the retail market would lead to further loss of jobs.
Despite Finance Minister Arun Jaitley saying that suggestions made by trade union leaders during a pre-budget consultation meet last month would be considered, the union felt the government’s economic exercise was only meant to benefit corporate house.
The trade unions claimed thousands of people had lost their jobs because the government’s demonetisation decision had adversely affected small and medium industries, forcing them to either shut down or sack workers.
Amarjit Kaur, general secretary of All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) was quoted, “We want the government to spend the maximum in job creation. We think after such a big loss of jobs in India because of demonetisation, the government should bring back jobs lost and generate more jobs.”
AITUC and the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) also attacked the government’s recent decision to open up the retail market to foreign players. The trade union leaders said that though the government always claimed foreign investment would lead to the creation of jobs, there was no guarantee it would.
Amarjit Kaur added, “So we think the attempt of the government even before the budget is to further attack those sectors which generate jobs. The decision for 100% FDI in retail will again affect the job market.”
The trade unions alleged that while the issue of job loss had been brought to the notice of the government several times, it had no solutions to offer.
The trade union leaders attacked the government for doing away with wealth tax and said the government should bring the policy back so that the money generated could be utilised for the social sector and job creation. They also suggested that the government reduce indirect taxes and collect unpaid taxes from corporate houses for use in the social sector.
Minister Jaitley, who met a group of trade unions including CITU and AITUC for pre-Budget consultations on December 5, had said the Central government was committed to safeguarding the interests of workers.