Objecting to the fourth tranche of the COVID-19 relief package announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliate Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh said the government is moving in the “wrong direction” and has “dearth of ideas”.
The Union minister on Saturday announced the easing of limits on foreign direct investment in defence manufacturing, privatisation of six airports, opening up of more air space and allowing private sector in commercial coal mining. She made these announcements while sharing details of the fourth tranche of the Rs 20 lakh crore economic package in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
Responding to the announcements, the BMS said corporatisation and public private partnership (PPP) are routes to privatisation and “foreignisation”. It shows that the government has dearth of ideas on economic revival in times of crisis, the RSS-backed organisation added. The BMS strongly objects to the announcements on the corporatisation and privatisation in eight sectors, the trade union said in a statement.
For employees, privatisation means massive job loss, below quality jobs will be generated, profitisation and exploitation will be the rule, the BMS said. It said the government was shying away from consultation with trade unions, social representatives and stakeholders, which is highly condemnable.
Without any social dialogue, the government is bringing gross changes and is moving in the wrong direction. Social dialogue is fundamental to democracy, the BMS said. However, the BMS was positive about the first three tranche of the package announced by the finance minister.
Besides BMS, leaders of the opposition party and former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha has also criticised the package for not handing cash to the migrant citizens who are traveling back home amidst lockdown.
The package has been a huge disappointment. Not a word about the migrants, the farmers, the daily wage earner, the poor generally. This govt has its nose buried in sand and does not see the gathering storm. Nothing for the states.
— Yashwant Sinha (@YashwantSinha) May 13, 2020
On Sunday, the finance minister addressed the last press conference related to COVID-19 relief package announcements in which an additional Rs 40,000 crore was allocated to MGNREGA to help provide jobs to migrant workers returning home. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the allocation for MGNREGS is being increased by Rs 40,000 crore over and above the Rs 61,000 crore budgeted earlier. Also, public expenditure on health will be increased, she said without giving details. The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme was introduced by the UPA government in 2005.