The National Manufacturing Policy announced by the Government of India on 25th October 2011 is nothing but an anti-people, anti-worker policy intended to give the employers unbridled freedom to violate all labour laws in the country and to give the corporate and big business the opportunity to grab thousands of acres of valuable land at throwaway prices.
Announcing the National Manufacturing Policy (NMP), Shri Anand Sharma, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textile claimed that the NMP aims at increasing the share of the manufacturing to 25% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2022, which at present is only 16%. He also claimed that 100 million additional jobs also will be created. The main point in the NMP is to create a few National Manufacturing and Investment Zones (NMIZs), the minimum area of each which will be 5000 hectares. The first such NMIZ will be in the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC). The Minister said that no cultivable agricultural and forest land will allow to be acquired for NMIZs. He also stated that the issues and concerns raised by the Environment and Labour Ministries against the policy have been attended to.
It is an agreed fact the policy itself has emanated from the failure of the government with regard to formation of the Special Economic Zones(SEZ). Huge outcry and agitation sparked off in connection with the acquisition of land in many states by the farmers and land owners, who were forced by the government to vacate their cultivable land. The tribals were forced to flee from their homes in the forest areas acquired. The compensation given was minimal. Such large scale acquisition violated the environment rules. The labour laws were completely flouted by the managements in the SEZs. No tangible growth was seen except that the corporate and managements were able to grab land at abysmally low rates. The people lost their land.
The NMP has given full freedom to the management to hire and fire. The Labour Department will not be able to intervene in the labour issues in the NIMZs. The managements will employ mainly contract workers in place of regular employees to cut down wages and to deny labour rights. The Government is assuring that the labour rights will be protected, but what will happen is very clear from the experience of the SEZs earlier.
The claim of the government that the GDP in the manufacturing sector will increase by 9% and that 100 million additional jobs will be created by the NMP in a decade is nothing but bluff. In order to reduce the opposition from the people and the working class, such false claims are made.
No central trade union has been consulted while forming the policy, though they are important stake holders. In fact, leaders of all the Central trade union s, including INTUC, have severely criticised the the New Manufacturing Policy for its anti-labour stand. Mighty protest actions can be expected by the working class against this anti-people, anti-worker policy. The government should not proceed with this anti-people policy which of course is part of the neo-liberalisation policy.