(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
October 02, 2011
IN DEFENCE OF
JAF Organises Mass Dharna at
THESE days the public
sector workers are quite concerned and worried about the policies being
by the government of
To draw attention to this situation, they also sent a memorandum to the prime minister, detailing their grievances and demands.
independence, the memorandum pointed out, there were very few public
in the country.
contribution of the central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) to the
economy can be understood from the fact that as of today, the CPSEs
over 11 percent of
A number of public
sector undertakings were established to cater to the basic requirements
also. Many of these vital PSEs came up at
These PSEs provided direct employment to lakhs of people and indirectly to many times more. The all round development of Bangalore today, as the silicon valley of India and as the IT/BT capital of our country, was possible because of the existence of major PSEs here.
THE PUBLIC SECTOR
But with the introduction of the neo-liberal economic policies of globalisation, liberalisation and privatisation, the situation in the PSEs is turning miserable, as these are thoroughly anti-public sector policies. Hindustan Machine Tools (HMT), the pioneer of Indian industrialisation, and ITI, a major unit in the telecom industry, are already being deliberately destroyed.
Now, rubbing salt to
the injury, the government of
Over the last six
decades, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited has grown progressively into an
integrated aerospace organisation and one of
It is shocking to note that despite the trade unions in the country vehemently opposing disinvestment of PSEs, the ministry of defence has, on the pretext of modernisation of the HAL, initiated the sale of its shares. It will disinvest 10 per cent of its holding in the next five years and thereby mobilise Rs 20,000 crore. This is an unscrupulous ploy to privatise the HAL in phases and thus befool the people. In the past, some of the shares of two defence public sector undertakings, namely the Bharat Electronics Limited and BEML Limited, have already been sold off. In fact, all the successive governments in the last two decades, irrespective of the party at the helm of affairs, have imposed this disinvestment policy on the nation.
During the UPA-I regime, this policy had to be kept on hold because of strong presence of the Left parties in the parliament; we know well that these parties have a strong commitment to protecting and strengthening the public sector. But now the UPA-2 government is aggressively imposing this disinvestment policy as the Left presence has got reduced in the parliament.
In this regard,
despite the government’s claims about modernisation and what not, the
that any money realised by disinvestment will go to a National
(NIF) and the corpus is to be spent for funding the stimulus packages
big business and corporate houses and to meet the budget deficits. Thus the disinvestment of
Another valuable public sector enterprise is BHEL. The government is hell bent on further disinvesting 5 per cent equity of the company out of its shareholding of 76.72 per cent. This process may lead to dismantling of this giant blue-chip CPSE.
The defence procurement policy (DPP) emphasises repeatedly on the need of indigenisation of defence products. With this aim in view, the condition stipulated is that 30 per cent of all orders above 300 million dollars should be placed with Indian defence manufacturers. Shockingly, however, the government is seeking to dilute this condition to the disadvantage of the defence public sector undertakings such as the BEL and HAL, as has been been brought to light by two articles recently published in economic dailies. The downright hypocrisy of the UPA government stands exposed in this matter.
A premier ‘miniratna’
Category 1 unit is the BEML that has state of the art technology and
manufacturing units at
The Coal India
Limited (CIL), a ‘maharatna’ company, and its subsidiaries, which are
by the government of
The Indian Telephone Industry (ITI) is the first public sector industry of the country. Its case is now before the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) due to wrong policies of the central government. Its contribution amounts to 50 per cent of the present national telecom network. Despite a great boom in the telecommunication field, the ITI has not been allowed to diversify its activities. A proper revival package is yet to be considered for it. Moreover, ITI employees are being discriminated against by a reduction of the age of their superannuation --- 2 years earlier, i.e. to 58 years --- while this age is 60 years in case of other CPSE employees. A major demand of all the public sector workers is that ITI employee should be treated on par with other CPSE employees and superannuation age for them must be enhanced to 60 years.
In the meantime, the number of regular employees in the CPSEs is consistently declining every year, while the number of contract workers is increasing. They are being deployed in regular operational jobs, paid much less as wages and are thus being severely exploited.
It was in view of the existing situation that the Joint Action Front organised the said dharana at Bangalore, demanding that the government immediately stop disinvestment of the HAL and BHEL, immediately stop favouring the multinationals, desist the Coal India Limited from favouring the private players at the cost of the BEML and finalise a revival package for the Indian Telephone Industry.
Leaders of the JAF’s constituent organisations including S Prasanna Kumar, B V Manohara, C V Krishnappa, Krishna Reddy, Mahadeva R and Javare Gouda addressed the workers who participated in the dharna.