Jaitley bats for skill development to generate employment options

The union finance minister Arun Jaitley while having a pre-budget consultation meeting with the trade union leaders on Friday stressed for skill development for generating employment opportunities and heard their demand on increasing the minimum wage of industrial workers to Rs 15,000 a month.

‘We will give priority to skill development so that more and more trained workers join the Indian economy. Our government will give due consideration to the 10-point joint charter of demands made by the Central Trade Unions in our budgetary proposals,’ Jaitley said.

Some of the demands made in the 10-point charter are: No FDI in defence production, telecommunications, railways, financial sector, retail trade, education, health and media, workforce engaged in various government schemes should be regularised, Income tax exemption ceiling for the salaried persons should be raised to Rs 5 lakh per annum, threshold limit of 20 employees in EPF Scheme be brought down to 10 and a progressive taxation system should be put in place to ensure taxing the rich and the affluent sections who have the capacity to pay at a higher degree.

The finance minister had a patience hearing and assured the representatives of the unions — affiliated to Left, BJP and Congress etc — that he will try to accommodate their demands while making the budget presentation.

The leaders also requested the finance minister to push investment in the infrastructure sector, which will help in creating more jobs, when India is struggling with the challenges of unemployment.
In more than an hour meeting, the leaders have submitted a memorandum highlighting that the social security schemes including health insurance and old age allowances should be extended to the people falls under the BPL category.

Speaking to the Millennium Post, Dilip Bhattacharya, All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC), said, ‘The meeting with the finance minister was fruitful and we are hopeful that our charter of demands will be fulfilled.’

He said, ‘Soon we are going to have another meeting with him and he has told all of us to share issues and ideas with him for strengthening the Indian economy.’
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