Hike in minimum wage, providing social security to workers, quality of job creation and rehabilitation of workers who have lost their jobs were some of the issues discussed by the representatives of trade and labour unions in their pre-Budget meeting with the Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur on Saturday.
Representatives of trade unions suggested to the government to raise the minimum wage to Rs 20,000, provide 200 days of assured work under the rural employment guarantee scheme and ensure minimum monthly pension of Rs 6,000.
The unions during a pre-budget meeting also demanded hiking slabs for exemption of income tax for salaried persons and pensioners to Rs 10 lakh per year.
They asked for Rs 8 lakh income tax slab for senior citizens and exemption of all perks and fringe benefits like housing, medical and education facilities and running allowances from income tax. They also expressed their reservation against the privatisation and divestment in profit-making public sector undertakings and stressed on increasing investment for job creation in the pre-budget meeting.
Suggestions were made regarding “fixation of minimum wages on the recommendation of the 15th Indian Labour Conference, increase in allocations on social sector and basic essential services like health, education and food security; stopping disinvestment and strategic sale of public sector units; extension of MGNREGA to remaining all rural areas and introducing it in urban areas besides increasing number of workdays under the scheme to 200 days and creation of National Fund for Unorganised Workers to provide social security among others,’’ the Finance Ministry said in a statement.
All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) General Secretary Amarjeet Kaur said, “We, the 10 central trade unions group, put up all of our points. We have demanded for Rs 20,000 minimum wage, Rs 6,000 minimum monthly pension and guaranteed employment of 200 days under MNREGA (100 days at present).”
WITH PTI INPUTS