Budget wish-list: Unions want stimulus retained,but with riders

In his pre-Budget meeting with trade unions, Mukherjee also emphasised on growth in employment opportunities.

Mukherjee said growth in employment opportunities is vital for ensuring an inclusive development process and sought suggestions from trade unions in this regard.
"All stimulus packages funded out of public exchequer must be made conditional to ban retrenchment, VRS, lay-off, closures, wage-cut and to create employment," Tapan Sen of CPI (M)-affiliated CITU told reporters after the meeting.

Sen said in view of huge job losses and mounting unemployment problem, "the ban on recruitment in government departments, PSUs and autonomous institutions should be lifted".

The finance minister said one of the biggest challenges before the nation today is to find the correct balance between the need for economic growth, sustainability of resources and bringing the disadvantaged and vulnerable section into the mainstream of the development process.

He said, "We also have to address the growing aspirations of young India. We need to have sustained higher economic growth with inclusive development."

Mukherjee said while the country has the advantage of having a young population, the realisation of the demographic dividend would depend on employment opportunities and the required skills.

Mukherjee said on the employment front, the quarterly reports released by the Labour Bureau for July-September 2010 show a continuing upward trend.

At the sectoral level, textile sector, IT/BPO industry, automobile industry and metal industry show an encouraging growth in employment, he added.Mukherjee said that a higher growth in employment has also been recorded in the export-oriented units.
Trade union leaders are also for a ban on futures trading in food items to tame the spiralling inflation.

"All trade unions, in a single voice, have told that price rise must be contained. If you (the government) are serious to contain price rise, then put a complete ban on futures trading in commodities," Sen said.

Futures trading now is banned on rice and pulses, like tur and urad.While futures trading in onion, whose prices have skyrocketed, is allowed. However, no commodity exchange has started this product.

Representatives of Left-wing trade unions like AITUC, Congress-affiliated INTUC, RSS-associated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh among others also participated in the pre-Budget interactions.

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