MEMORANDUM TO HON'BLE PRIM E MINISTER OF INDIA
Dated : 10th June, 2020
Shri Narendra Damodardas Modi Ji,
Hon’ble Prime Minister of India,
Through: Respective Head of the Division/ Unit
Sub: In the interest of the development of the nation a “DHARNA by all the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh affiliated Public Sector unions” on 10.06.2020 with the objective of “Save Public Sectors, Save India” against Government of India’s irrational decision of privatisation; disinvestment; corporatization of Defence Ordinance Factories Board and Manufacturing units of Railway; Strategic sale of PSUs; increasing FDI cap; merger of PSUs, banks/insurance; commercialization of coal sector; anti-worker changes in labour laws etc.
At the outset, we wish to compliment your leadership in context of handling most of the situations during COVID-19. However, being a part of nation’s largest and most responsible trade union, we do not agree with some of your decisions in regard with the valuable national assets of the country i.e. Public Sectors that have been taken lately or are being taken now. Although, we believed that unlike your predecessor governments, you and your government will not become a mere pawn of bureaucrats or advisors with vested interests and will not fulfil their silent campaign of anti-public sectors but it seems to be a misconception.
It is pertinent to mention here that as always, we being part of a non-political and nationalist trade union, have been given our contribution/ support to the government in every possible manner during this time of crises. As you are already aware that the philosophy of BMS is “Responsive Cooperation”, we did not wish to take any strong step rather preferred to resolve the issues by the means of talks. In this regard, we one-sided tried to approach you and your ministers many times but now we have realised that the government is in no temperament to work for the worker of the country, hence there is no choice left with us but to agitate and fight to safeguard our rights.
Hence, we would like to submit that Public Sector National Coordination Committee of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), comprising of sectors viz.
Coal, Non-Coal, Mining, Banking, Insurance, Steel, Shipping, Port & Dock, Railways, Defence, Postal and Public Sector Employees National Confederation (comprising of Telecom, Oil & Gas, Power, Aviation, Coins & Currency, FCI, NHPC, Power Grid, GAIL, BHE, NALCO, NLC, HAL, HMT, BEL, ITI, BDL, ALIMCO, Balmer Lawrie, HNL, FACT, IREL, ECIL, NEEPCO, THDC, Instrumentation, BSNL/MTNL, NTPC, Mother Dairy, ITDC and other Sectors) ),
convened a meeting on 03.06.2020. In this meeting, it was decided that we will protest in consolidation, against the baseless decisions of Government of India viz. privatisation, disinvestment, corporatization of Defence - Ordinance Factories Board, Strategic sale of PSUs, increasing FDI cap, merger of PSUs, banks/insurance, commercialization of coal sector, anti-worker changes in labour laws etc. As decided, we are to hold a day-long nationwide “DHARNA by all the affiliated unions of above-mentioned Federations at their respective location” on 10.06.2020 with the objective of “Save Public Sectors, Save India”.
It is a normal phenomenon that one has the sole right to continue or discontinue only those, which are being started by oneself. Although, when it comes to discontinuing any past practise, any reasonable government shall do an analysis before taking such drastic decisions. The rich history of the struggle, survival, contribution, self-reliance and long service to the nation of these public sectors, which are being nourished by the sweat of so many generations has not been taken into the account while taking such brutal decisions. These sectors were started after independence with the aim to make India self-reliant, it seems to be a crude irony that today even after more than 70 years of independence, when the Prime Minister of India talks about making India self-reliant, he takes the decision of subsiding one of the strongest pillars of the development of the country i.e. Public Sectors. It is a known fact that the Central Public Sector Undertakings have proven themselves as the backbone of the country by constructively and tirelessly contributing in the infrastructure growth, supplying essential services to masses, providing strategic support to defence sector and providing uninterrupted supply of energy across the country.
While keeping in account the several references of the contribution of PSUs in the past calamities, we wish to bring your notice to the selfless service provided by these Public Sectors once again during the current difficult time faced by the country. When you appealed the whole country to switch-off the lights to pay gratitude towards the COVID-19 warriors, Power Grid worked at double-pace to avoid any sort of instability due to sudden power-off nationwide or providing uninterrupted supply of fuel, communication, ventilators production, several services by Aviation, FCI etc. It is time, when you must compare and analyse the contribution of Public Sectors and Private Sectors during this hard time. Leave aside the contribution, the Government of India appeared to be helpless in front of private sectors; as they even did not comply to the request/order of the government of handling the current situation in respect of their workers with humanity. The government appealed to the private sectors to not do retrenchments or pay cuts, to which the private sectors plainly denied. They are not in the business to fulfil their human responsibility; their prime objective is to earn profit and will remain to be the same. On the contrary, the Public Sectors of the country, who are already badly struck by the sudden lockdown in the country are unparallelly serving the humanity. India is a country of rich cultural values, if we consider the relationship between the Government of India and Public Sectors, the latter can be seen as the child of the first. It is the prime responsibility of the Government to run the PSUs, but it seems that the Government is selfishly willing to rely and command the PSUs in the times of need and in return, in the name of so called loss or need of revenue not hesitating to even sell out its own biggest reliable earning strength. Time and again, the Government of India has declared that “Government has no business to be in business”. We feel the government must introspect and analyse if its motto is clear in its own functionary because most of the times these two seem to be in contradiction.
India has witnessed many critical situations, but after facing each of such situations the PSUs in core sectors like Oil, Steel, Coal, Power, Telecom, Engineering, Defence, Railways have become self-reliant and grown to new heights. These PSUs have contributed by:
- Rescuing the Indian economy during the worldwide economic recession.
- Producing efficient and quality products.
- Contributing approximately 10% to 12% to the GDP.
- Being major source of revenue generation for the Government.
- Paying dividend to the exchequer, whose prices are within the reach of citizens.
- Increasing the procurement from MSMEs and releasing the payments to the small-scale industries/units (it has played a vital role in quality employment generation)
- Spending approximately Rs. 40,000 Crore on Corporate Social Responsibility: Swach Bharat Mission, Rural Development, Education, Health Care and Sanitation, Skill Development etc.
The CPSUs have been established with a lot of efforts and huge infrastructure, hence, it is rationale and imperative to continue the smooth working of the PSUs. The decision of letting go the access of PSUs will be proven as a catastrophe, as government will never be able attain the sold land or machinery of these PSUs. In addition, the government shall never be able to establish again this huge infrastructure which is the largest and most valuable asset of the country.
In view of the above, we once again raise our request to your good self to take the proper insight of the reality and resolve the issues pertaining to the CPSUs viz. stopping:
Ø Privatisation & disinvestment of PSUs,
Ø Corporatization of Defence Ordinance sector,
Ø Strategic sale of PSUs,
Ø Increasing FDI cap,
Ø Merger of Banks, Insurance, PSUs,
Ø Commercialization of Coal Sector,
Ø Anti-worker changes in labour laws,
Ø Stop privatisation, disinvestment, corporatization of Postal Life Insurance
Ø Ensure 50 (Fifty) Lakh Life Insurance Coverage to all front line Postal Workers including Gramin Dak Sevaks.
Ø Ensure 8(Eight) hours duty to all Gramin Dak Sevaks and ensure facilities as per Govt. Employee.
We are hopeful that the government will come out of the trap of its predatory advisors (having no intention of saving the country), who have blindsided the government. From the past, it is clear that the government is not working in an unbiased manner and misunderstanding its foe as friend. However, there is still time left with the government to take corrective measures or it shall give answer to the public of the country, who have trusted you with such a big responsibility. It is the government who is answerable to its citizens not its foes in disguise of friend (bureaucrats/advisors).
Keeping the interest of nation as prime, we request you to kindly resolve the issues through bilateral discussions by the medium of dialogue with the stakeholders. This way, together we can ensure a healthy, strong and prosperous future of CPSUs and its workers, for which we shall ever remain grateful to you.