RSS’ trade union arm Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) on Monday hit out at the government over the state of the economy and slammed the NITI Aayog saying it was not consulting trade unions but relying on “Harvard university experts who have no knowledge of Indian realities”.
The national executive meeting of the trade union body, held in here on August 16, 17 and 18, flagged the issues of job loss in the automobile sector and urged the Centre to “change the direction of economic and labour reforms”.
“At present, the economy does not look inspiring in spite of various programs initiated to boost it. India’s growth phenomenon had been promoting inequality. Over-dependence on FDI as a panacea for all economic maladies is wiping out many of our traditional MSME hubs. India’s manufacturing sector is in a bad shape. All the burden common man has to bear. The automobile sector that contributes about half of India’s manufacturing output is in a crisis”, the resolution adopted at the end of the meeting stated.
The meeting, chaired by BMS national president CK Saji Narayanan attacked the “liberalisation, privatisation, and globalisation” (LPG) initiated when Manmohan Singh was Finance Minister in 1991. Terming it a “failure”, the Sangh said “now a time has come to look back and rethink about the impact the LPG reforms had made on our economy”.
The economic reforms played havoc in the labour sector and reforms in labour law have contributed in damaging the economy, the resolution said, adding that even “new technologies imported are job displacing including artificial intelligence”.
“The failure of LPG reforms was first identified after 10 years when the growth it created was termed as ‘Jobless Growth’,” BMS said, adding “but the government had no mechanism to assess the impact of reforms”. The trade union body also called for a ‘white paper’ on the impact of globalisation, LPG reforms, WTO, FTA and FDI on India’s economy
“Successive governments”, BMS claimed, “have been pursuing a failed capitalist paradigm which lacks human element,” adding that “India needs to discover an India-centric paradigm” to cater to its conditions.
BMS added that the “Planning Commission as well as its successor NITI Aayog have been notoriously refusing to consult stakeholders like social organisations, including trade unions which are connected to the ground-level realities. Instead they have created readymade NGOs as advisors who are mostly related to foreign agencies. Harvard University experts who have no knowledge about Indian realities are the last word for them”.
The resoulation criticised the Centre for releasing the ‘Report of the Expert Committee on Determining the Methodology for Fixing the National Minimum Wage’ without consulting the tradeunions who it said are the real stakeholders.
The resolution, however, had some pat for the government, saying that while it was trying “its level best to boost economy, employment, skill developments etc … all such efforts are negated by the wrong direction of such policy making bodies” whose “main role ends up in converting India’s economy into a capitalist economy and all other developmental activities become ancillary”.