10 trade unions boycott finance ministry’s virtual pre-budget consultations, demand physical meet

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A joint platform of ten central trade unions has decided to boycott the virtual pre-budget consultations with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on November 28, demanding a physical meeting with reasonable time to speak.

Pre-budget consultations are an annual exercise under which representatives of various sectors suggest and demand to be addressed through the budget.

In a letter sent on Friday, the forum said, “Now with reference to your email dated November 25, 2022, it is clarified that each central trade union will be allowed to speak for three minutes. This is a joke and we Refuses to do so.” Part of such a cheap joke. We will not participate in the proposed video conference on November 28, 2022.”

Earlier on Friday, in a letter to the Finance Ministry, the Forum had jointly opposed the restricted video conference for pre-budget consultations.

“We are constrained to express our dismay for convening this meeting on virtual mode despite complete relaxation of Covid restrictions, and that only for 75 minutes for consultation with more than 12 Central Trade Unions, invitation letter indicated by may be more. As per the direct verification of the Ministry of Labour, there are 12 Central Trade Unions in our country. This means less than five minutes for each organization or less, if the customary opening remarks The timing is taken into account,” he said at the forum.

Later on Friday, the Forum received another letter from the Finance Ministry stating that each participating central trade union would be allotted three minutes to give their suggestions.

In response to the letter, the Forum issued another letter on Friday and said that the CTU has therefore decided to boycott the proposed video conference.

The Forum urged the Finance Ministry to “seriously reconsider holding a physical meeting with appropriate time-allocation for effective consultation with the trade unions in the pre-budget meeting”.

The Forum invited the Finance Minister to have an open debate about these policies, without any time limit, to defend those policies.

The ten trade unions forming the forum are INTUC, AITUC, TUCC, SEWA, HMS, CITU, AICCTU, LPF, AIUTUC and UTUC.

There are about a dozen central trade unions in the country, including the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS). BMS is not a part of the joint platform.

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