Trade unions on Saturday urged Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to take immediate steps to mitigate difficulties being faced by wage earners and small trades due to the cash crunch. “The new issue added in this discussion apart from our 16-point charter was because of demonetisation and the scandal that has broken out,” Centre of Indian Trade Unions President Tapan Sen told reporters here after unionists’ pre-Budget consultations with Jaitley.
“Had they gone ahead with the preparations, we would have welcomed it. They are more interested in public relations than for the actual cause. This decision of the (Narendra) Modi government proves this.” Ywelve central trade unions’ representatives met Jaitley for the pre-Budget consultations.
Sen said, “About 85 per cent of the currency was withdrawn. Small traders and unorganised sector workers are going hungry. Despite taking so much of load, bank employees are working till 12 at night, still they are earning the wrath of people for quite justified reasons.” He put the onus on the Government to infuse more cash. In the memorandum jointly submitted by 10 central trade unions, they expressed deep concern over the difficulties being faced by the common man, especially the daily wage earners.
“We urge the government to take urgent steps to ameliorate their difficulties,” they said in the memorandum. They demanded that the income tax exemption ceiling for the salaried persons and pensioners be raised to Rs 5 lakh per annum. They also pushed for tax exemption in totality for all perks and fringe benefits in the railways and linking minimum monthly wage to Consumer Price Index which should be at least Rs 18,000.