Skip to main content

COVID-19: Top TU demands Rs 5 lakh crore package, as marginalised 'left in lurch'

Counterview Desk
One of India’s top trade union organizations, All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), in a statement, has taken strong exception to a “meagre” allocation of Rs 15,000 crore to fight the deadly coronavirus, has said that little is being done to help the marginalized sections of society, especially daily wagers, migrants, agriculture workers and self-employed persons like hawkers-vendors, porters, loaders, domestic workers etc. who are “losing their livelihood in the lockdown.”
Signed by AITUC secretary Amarjeet Kaur, the statement demands a package of Rs 5 lakh crore, pointing out that even a small state like Kerala has announced a package of Rs 20,000 crore.

Text:

We at the All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) while take the lockdown as necessary step as a preventive measure to stop spread of Covid-19 infection, are extremely disappointed at very meager amount of Rs 15,000 crore allocated by the Prime Minister in his address to the nation on March 24, whereas for small state like Kerala government announced Rs 20,000 crore package.
The dire need of the country is for testing and provision of all out medical help to all those infected cases. A war like preparation is needed for provision of ventilators, masks, increased bed capacity, availability of medicines, maintenance of hygiene etc.
The front soldiers in the case of medical help are our doctors, nurses, other para-medical staff and cleaning staff etc. who need to be taken care of. But it is they who are being neglected and not fully equipped as the requests and complaints from them including from the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Resident Doctors Association are all in open for all to see.
We deplore that the government of India allowed export of all these required equipment in fighting Covid-19 till March 19, 2020 despite World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines to stop it in the beginning of February itself.
The harassment of doctors, nurses etc to vacate residential premises is most shameful act which must be taken cognizance of by the concerned authorities and the guilty be booked to give clear signal to the society. The shameful instances of harassment of those working in airlines including air India staff which brought stranded Indians from abroad have also come to light.
Workers and employees of permitted essential services are not being allowed to commute to the work places by police in many areas
The workers and employees of the permitted essential services by the government are not being allowed to commute to the work places by police in many areas despite they have ID proofs provided by the government departments and public sector offices.
The poor masses, who are daily wagers / casual/ migrant/ agriculture workers or are self-employees as hawkers-vendors, those who are coolies/porters/loaders unloaders, domestic workers etc. are losing their livelihood in the lockdown/ curfew situation have been left in lurch for nothing to bank upon. They need immediate financial relief, free ration and free fuel to cook food. In many a cases for destitute food should be provided from government-run outlets.
This requires big economic package from the government. The clean drinking water and otherwise water needs for washing hands and bodies, the needs of hygiene and sanitation are very essential and especially in this pandemic situation.
The Finance Minister was only busy in announcing increase in deadlines for filing Income Tax (IT) returns, Goods and Services Tax (GST), about Tax Deducted as Source (TDS) or the cases under bankruptcy act etc. but no announcement for the 40 crore out of about 54 crore of working people who are looking towards the incumbent government for help.
We demand from the Modi government to immediately come out with clear policy and package to deal with all these issues at the earliest otherwise anxieties of no work and no food amongst masses will create problems in dealing with Covid 19 pandemic. The government has to immediately increase the financial package for health to tackle emergent needs of medical fraternity and the expansion of health infrastructure.
AITUC demands of Rs 500,000 crore package from the Central government to meet this calamity.

Comments

TRENDING

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Contempt of court? UP CM taking 'personal vendetta' against Dr Kafeel Khan: Activists

Counterview Desk
Demanding that the Uttar Pradesh government immediately release well-known paediatrician Dr Kafeel Khan, a group of more than 100 academicians, activists, researchers, doctors and lawyers have said in an open letter that he is being “targeted at the behest of the chief minister”, wondering, “When is an act of challenging the government a threat under the National Security Act (NSA)?”

A locked up offer? Govt of India 'not serious' in involving NGOs: IIM-A survey

By Rajiv Shah
Was the Government of India serious when it asked 92,000 civil society organizations (CSOs) in early April to “assist” state governments and district administrations in taking care of food, shelter and other needs of migrant workers, known to have been affected by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’ sudden 21-day lockdown in order to “combat” the spread of Covid-19 virus, announced on March 24?

Will Govt of India, ICMR end 'perverse' practice of extracting profits from ill-health?

By Asmita Verma, Surabhi Agarwal, Bobby Ramakant*
The Epidemics Act, 1897 gives the central and state governments authority to impose any regulations which may be necessary to contain the outbreak of a disease. Some state governments such as Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhatisgarh have already used this power to bring private healthcare facilities in their state under government control.

Dalits in India, Blacks in US suffer 'similar' humiliation: Macwan drafts letter to Trump

Counterview Desk
Well-known human rights activist Martin Macwan, recipient of the prestigious Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Award in 2000, has drafted an open letter to US President Donald Trump following the disturbing turn of events with the murder of George Floyd, leading to widespread protests in the US. He has sought signatures of concerned citizens before sending it to Trump.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

'Violation' of migrant workers' human rights: Legal notice to IIM-A director, govt babus

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to the police action against protesting migrant workers off the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) on May 18, senior Gujarat High Court advocate Anandvardhan Yagnik, in a legal notice to the IIM-A director "on their behalf" has said that the workers had only been seeking to to go back to their home states, Jharkhand and West Bengal, for the last more than 20 days because they were not paid their “earned wages because of the lockdown.”

Gujarat link of controversial US doctor who 'forced' WHO quiz Trump's wonder drug

By Rajiv Shah
A top American doctor, Sapan Sharankishor Desai, born and raised in the “affluent” North Shore (Chicago) region of Illinois by Indian parents, at one point of time involved in NGO activity through the Desai Foundation dedicated to “improving” the lives of the impoverished in Gujarat, is in the eyes of a major international storm following his paper in a “Lancet” questioning Donald Trump-promoted drug hydroxychloroquine.