Skip to main content

Sitharaman's package 'disrespectful': TUs, civil society networks, 900 people tell PM

In Gujarat capital Gandhinagar amidst lockdown. Photo: Kevin Antao
By Our Representative
While taking note of the 1.7 lakh crore package announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the poor in India, the Social Security Now (SSN) has said that the package is “inadequate” and “disrespectful” of the recipients as it involves transfer of less than Rs 1000 a month to their accounts, and justifies payment of wages less than minimum wages.
SSN, a national network of civil society and informal workers’ organisations, said this in a petition it submitted a petition to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministries of Health and Labour, demanding transfer of Rs 15,000 to all citizens, for next three months.
The petition has been signed by more than 900 people, including representatives from trade unions and working peoples organisations such as AITUC, AICCTU, UTUC, SEWA-Kerala, National Domestic Workers Union, Mahila Kisan Adhikar Manch, National Alliance for People’s Movements, and prominent people including economist Arun Kumar, Biswajit Dhar, literary critic Hiren Gohain, sociologist Nandini Sundar, Satish Deshpande, feminist scholar Nivedita Menon, political scientist Aditya Nigam and others.
At this juncture, a distinction between organised-unorganised or BPL-APL is administratively cumbersome to establish
The petition said, at this juncture, a distinction between organised-unorganised or BPL-APL is administratively cumbersome to establish and therefore the transfer must be made universally without any discrimination. This will empower the vulnerable working population and give them money to buy daily food items, paying for rent, electricity, water, mobile charges, clothing and other essential daily expenses, the petition said.
The petition further demanded that since there are only about 25 crore ration card holders in the country, the Public Distribution System must be accessible to all people, irrespective of BPL or residential status, to procure essential food items during the period of pandemic.
The petition said government must ask companies to deposit at least 50% of the CSR funds in an account earmarked for such relief purposes.
Photo: Kevin Antao
While lauding the government for introducing Rs 50 lakh insurance cover to the corona warriors, the petition urged the Government that all coronavirus tests must be made free - whether they are conducted in public or private hospitals and labs.
The petition emphasised that while the entire population needs to be protected from the ravages of the COVID19 crisis, appropriate mechanisms must be developed to ensure proper inclusion of migrant workers, homeless, women – especially female headed households and single women, sex workers, senior citizens, children and other vulnerable sections in relief packages.
Special steps must be taken to take care of the specific needs of the vulnerable communities. Separate clinics or timings for ensuring safe deliveries in hospitals would be of paramount importance. Public buildings and facilities – such as schools, panchayats, AC train coaches etc can be used to provide immediate shelter and food to the homeless, migrant workers and other distressed sections.

Comments

anil said…
absolutely absurd to argue that at this time distinction above or below poverty line is meaningless? it is 'inclusivity of this kind, of undeserving' that deflects focus away from poor.
On one hand, we cry about 1000 rs transfer which is indeed too little and then at the same time ask for making the entitlement category bigger so that their share will never go up, sad, silly both

TRENDING

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".

RSS' 25,000 Shishu Mandirs 'follow' factory school model of Christian missionaries

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
The executive committee of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) recently decided to drop the KISS University in Odisha as the co-host of the World Anthropology Congress-2023. The decision is driven by the argument that KISS University is a factory school.

India must recognise: 4,085 km Himalayan borders are with Tibet, not China

By Tenzin Tsundue, Sandeep Pandey*
There has as been a cancerous wound around India’s Himalayan neck ever since India's humiliating defeat during the Chinese invasion of India in 1962. The recent Galwan Valley massacre has only added salt to the wound. It has come to this because, when China invaded the neighbouring country Tibet in 1950, India was in high romance with the newly-established communist regime under Mao Zedong after a bloody revolution.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur*
Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Time to give Covid burial, not suspend, World Bank's 'flawed' Doing Business ranking

By Maju Varghese*
On August 27, the World Bank came out with a statement suspending the Doing Business Report. The statement said that a number of irregularities have been reported regarding changes to the data in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports, published in October 2017 and 2019. The changes in the data were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology.

Delhi riots: Cops summoning, grilling, intimidating young to give 'false' evidence

Counterview Desk
More than 440 concerned citizens have supported the statement issued by well-known bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander ‘We will not be silenced’ which said that the communal riots in Delhi in February 2020 have not been caused by any conspiracy, as alleged by the Delhi Police, but by “hate speech and provocative statements made by a number of political leaders of the ruling party.”

Gujarat literati flutter: State Akademi autonomy curb a Sahitya Parishad poll issue?

By Dankesh Oza*
The 115-year-old Gujarati Sahitya Parishad is in election mode. More than 3,000 life members of the Parishad are set to elect its 52nd president and 40 plus central working committee (CWC) members, which in turn will elect its executive and two vice presidents, six secretaries and a treasurer for the coming three years (from 2021 to 2023).

WHO chief ignores India, cites Pak as one of 7 top examples in fight against Covid-19

By Our Representative
In a move that would cause consternation in India’s top policy makers in the Modi government, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) director-general, has singled out Pakistan among seven countries that have set “examples” in investing in a healthier and safer future in order to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Agricultural reform? Small farmers will be more vulnerable, corporates to 'fix' price

By Dibyendu Chaudhuri*
Agriculture employs 42% of the total work force whereas it contributes only 16% to the country’s GDP. The average annual growth rate in agriculture has remained static to 2.9% since the last six years. This means that the post-green revolution conventional agriculture has reached its peak. Responsiveness of soil fertility to fertiliser application, an indicator of stagnancy in agriculture, shows declining trend since 1970. The worst sufferer has been the small and marginal farmers who constitute 86% of total farmers.