New Series of Consumer Price Index from 2016 ( 2016 = 100). Statement by Confederation of central govt Employees and Workers.

PRESS STATEMENT.

Dated: 28.10.2020

Confederation of Central Government Employees and workers notes with distress that the Government has made yet another attempt to depress the wages of the workers this time in the organised sector.  The indexation of wages and the consequent grant of compensatory allowance  had been the product of bitter  and prolonged struggles of the workers. The present system of computing the dearness compensation, though varies from sector to sector, is based on the consumer price index brought out in stipulated periodicity by the Ministry of Labour.  There had been varied and wide ranging criticism over the manner and methodology adopted in the computation of the index figures.  Instead of addressing those genuine and legitimate deficiencies, the  Government has gone now to create a new series which would further accentuate those very defects to the utter disadvantage of the workers. It is all the more deplorable as the Government has chosen the pandemic days to usher in the new series of CPI.

The Government will bring out the new series with 2016 as the base year.  2016, in so far as Indian economy is concerned, is an extremely extra ordinary year when the economic activities almost came to a grinding halt over the grand declaration of demonetisation.  It is an established dictum that base year selected must be a normal year, sans political, social and economic upheaval.  Why then 2016, has no logical explanation. 

The Government has also decided to change the components of the basket.  Post justification had been an afterthought, conceived to cover up.  Had there been a consultation with the stake holders, many of the controversies that have arisen could have been avoided.  By depressing the food content in the basket, the lower rung in the working class will lose out more.  In the past, the base year change used to be effected once after two decades.  Why then the periodicity was reduced and bring out a new series now begs reasoned explanation.

Another important decision that would further depress the dearness compensation to the workers is that the Government has chosen the PDS prices of the commodities for computation.  Universal PDS was disbanded when the new liberal economic policies were ushered in years back.  The present truncated PDS targets only a segment of the population and most of the Central Government employees are excluded from the PDS in almost all States in the country.  This apart the prices of the commodities sold in the PDS is highly subsided.  Consequently, the prices of commodities included in the basket are nothing but imaginary and often below even the cost of production of such items.  Since dearness compensation as an accretion to wages is available for the workers in the organised sector, the new series will bring about drastically reduced  salary packet.  The Centrals Government employees especially will lose out heavily once the new series are put in operation, which is announced to be with effect from September, 2016 onwards.

On the advice of the Technical Advisory committee, the geometrical mean will be employed instead of the arithmetical average .  The conversion factor of 2.88 is devised possibly without taking this factor into account.  The conversion factor will be employed in the case of Central Government employees for a very long time to come from September, 2020 onwards. The ruling class was always opposed to the grant of dearness compensation, rather the very concept itself.   In the long run, they want the wages to remain static and the prices dynamic to ensure that the Corporates are happy.  The resentment against this arbitrary, unilateral and anti-employees decision must be manifested by the increased participation of the Central Government employees in the ensuing one day general strike slated for 26th November,2020, which is organised by the Central Trade Unions on behalf of the Indian working class. 

                                                             R.N. PARASHAR

                                                             SECRETARY GENERAL.

Child Care Leave for Male employees – Govt Press Statement

Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions

DoPT reforms regarding Child Care Leave

Posted On: 26 OCT 2020 7:11PM by PIB Delhi

 While briefing about some of the major reforms brought by Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) under the Modi government, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said today that the male employees of the government are also now entitled to Child Care Leave.

However, Dr Jitendra Singh said that the provision and privilege of Child Care Leave (CCL) will be available only for those male employees who happen to be “single male parent”, which may include male employees who are widowers or divorcees or even unmarried and may therefore, be expected to take up the responsibility of child care as a single – handed parent.

Describing it as a path-breaking and progressive reform to bring ease of living for government servants, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the orders regarding this had been issued quite some time back but somehow did not receive enough circulation in the public.

In a further relaxation to this provision, Dr Jitendra Singh informed that an employee on Child Care Leave may now leave the head quarter with the prior approval of Competent Authority. In addition, the Leave Travel Concession (LTC) may be availed by the employee even if he is on Child Care Leave. Elaborating further, he informed that Child Care Leave can be granted at 100% of leave salary for the first 365 days and 80% of leave salary for the next 365 days.

Based on the inputs over a period of time, Dr Jitendra Singh said, another welfare measure introduced in this regard is that in case of a disabled child, the condition of availing Child Care Leave up to the age of 22 years of the child has been removed and now Child Care Leave can be availed by a government servant for a disabled child of any age.

With the personal intervention and indulgence of Prime Minister Sh Narendra Modi and his special emphasis on governance reforms, Dr Jitendra Singh said, it has been possible to make several out-of-box decisions in the DoPT over the last six years. Basic purpose behind all these decisions has always been to enable a government employee to contribute to the maximum of his potential, although at the same time there will be no leniency or tolerance toward corruption or non-performance, he said. SNC (Release ID: 1667647)

170th year of Telegraph in India.

It was on 24th October 1851 that the telegraph services was first introduced in India. It was in a small route between Calcutta, then capital of British India, and Diamond Harbour.

The history of telegraphs started long back. The electrical telegraph was invented in 1775. The first commercial telegraphs were introduced by the Western Railways in Britain in the 1830s. It was introduced in India in 1850s along with the railways. The telephones were not invented and the fastest communication system was the telegraphs. Only the Britishers were employed as telegraphist both in Railways and in Telegraph Offices in the initial stages due to its utmost importance and secrecy. The Britishers used the Telegraphs and Railways effectively to crush the First Independence War of 1857, which they called as ‘Sepoy Mutiny’. The Telegraphs grew fantastically during the second part of the 20th century and there were telegraph offices in all important cities and towns. In small places, the services were manned by the Postal officials called ‘Singnallers’, who kept the connection between the cities and the villages through telegraph wires.
Telegrams were sent by government as also by public to inform urgent and important news. The CTOs in the metro cities used to have about 100 or 200 telegraphists at the same time and round the clock. The telegrams were taken as official records in the court etc. It was authentic and clear. Since the charge for sending telegram was on the basis of the number of words, the message was constructed briefly with minimum number of words. The message may be of great happiness or that of sorrow like death or disease. The unions used to organise ‘telegram campaigns’ as a method of protest sending the same in large numbers to the concerned authorities.

After the growth of telephones and mobile services, the importance of telegraphs started to wane. By the second decade of 21st century it was almost limited to certain official messages. According to the government and the BSNL, there was much loss and it can not be continued as a viable service.

When the government decided to close the telegraph offices and telegraph/telegram services from 15th July, BSNL Unions put up strong protest and organised protest meetings. As President of the Union, I went to Mumbai and Kolkata offices and held press conferences for getting the support of the people at large for continuing the services.

Telegraph is a heritage service and accommodated in heritage buildings in the big cities. CTO buildings in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata etc. are heritage buildings, which have to be maintained as such. Lakhs and lakhs of documents connected with the history of the Mughal, British rule etc. are there in the old documents of the telegraph offices. Just like Western Court building in Delhi is occupied by a hotel, there are proposals to turn these heritage buildings also in to such posh hotels. You can see that many of the historic palaces have already been converted in to hotels.

A PLI case was filed in the court, but did not get any relief. It can only be said that the BSNL management had taken an unwise anti-people decision as also without taking in to confidence of the unions, which were trying to improve the services and make the company financially viable.

Despite all efforts to ensure that the telegraph services are kept as a token of the past, as in the case of trams in Kolkata, neither the government nor the BSNL agreed. It was finally decided to close it on 15th July 2013 forever.

Nobody expected what happened on the day. It was a pleasant surprise. Thousands of people gathered in front of telegraph offices to send their last telegrams to their near and dear ones. Even after midnight of 15/16 July, the queue did not stop and many people had to return disappointed that they could not send the last telegram. Their spontaneous response on the last day showed their love and appreciation of the telegraph services.

seven years are over after closure of telegraph services. The people have almost forgotten the ‘telegram’. The new generation may wonder what is ‘telegraphs’ and ‘telegram’? But those who knew telegram and sent or received them, still remember the same. For them it is nostalgia indeed!

CHANGE IN BASE YEAR OF CPI FOR INDUSTRIAL WORKERS- ANOTHER ANTI-WORKER MEASURE OF MODI GOVERNMENT. CITU PRESS STATEMENT

THE BASE YEAR CHANGE FOR CONSUMERS PRICE INDEX FOR-INDUSTRIAL WORKER A DESIGN TO MANIPULATE THE REALITY OF PRICE MOVEMENT.

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions expresses serious concern over the change in the base year of consumer Price Index for the industrial workers (CPI-IW) from 2001 to 2016 announced by the BJP Govt through its Labour Minister, arrogantly ignoring all the questions raised and suggestions made by all the trade unions in the country through their joint letter dated 25th August 2020.

Entire exercise made by the Labour Bureau functioning under Ministry of Labour on this matter has been thoroughly arbitrary, deliberately designed to suppress the real impact of the price rise of essential items for human survival and also to deprive the workers of their entitlement for legitimate DA. The Labour Bureau deliberately ignored the very fact that even in the midst of economic slowdown, the prices of essential items, food items in particular always remain on the rise and did not hesitate to arbitrarily as well as drastically reduce the weight assigned to food items in the standard consumption basket from 46.2% to 39% for the purpose of computation of consumer price index. Minister’s statement justifying this arbitrary reduction as change in the consumption pattern of the working people away from food item is absolutely ridiculous and  cruel inhuman joke; this is done when the average consumption expenditure marked a sharp decline with the rural consumption expenditure falling by more than 9 per cent as per CSO estimate (suppressed by the Modi Govt); and also when in global hunger index, India has been ranked as low at 94 out of 107 nations under survey below Bangaladesh and Pakistan.

Manipulation by the Govt with a dubious intent does not end here. It is also done in the linking factor for converting the numbers of 2016 to 2001 series equivalent to suppress the impact of actual price rise. Two previous changes of base year witnessed a higher linking factor of 4.93 (1960 to 1982 -22 years gap) and 4.63 (1982 to 2001—19 years gap); now a 16 years gap (2001 to 2016) entailed a linking factor of only 2.88 (62% reduction for difference in 3 years in gap.). Can fraud go further ?

Then the choice of base year in 2016 is also designed for manipulation to suppress the impact of price rise. Originally till July 2020, exercise was being done with the idea of 2013-14 as the base year. Changing it to 2016 is an afterthought by the Modi regime as the same year, the notorious demoetisation was undertaken affecting negatively the price-level of the items in standard consumption basket for CPI-IW owing to virtual collapse of the economic operation in the country in the last quarter of 2016. This change is also done with the purpose of suppressing the real impact of price rise.     

The employers’ oranisations have long been demanding upon the Govt to freeze the variable DA payment to workers as a relief to them during the period of economic slowdown. Govt has now responded to that demand of their capitalist bosses through backdoor. The present exercise of changing base year of CPI-IW to 2016  with all its components, some of which are mentioned here, is meant for that at the cost of the working people.

One more BSNL contract worker commits suicide.

It is reported that Com. Ravindran, a contract worker engaged in GMT Office Palakkad, Kerala, has committed suicide in the night of 21st October unable to face the trauma of reduced working hours and non-payment of wages for more than 4 months. He is working in BSNL for more than 20 years.

The BSNL employees and workers held protest demonstration, keeping Corona protocol, against the cruel attitude of the BSNL management and the contractors.

Heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family, friends and comrades!

US President Trump insults Indians – PM Modi silent.

During his election speech US President Donald Trump insulted India stating that India, China etc are responsible for the present environment problems. Earlier he had denigrated India about lack of cleanliness.

But India PM Narendra Modi is silent. Unfortunate. Has India become a subordinate ally of US?

12TH FOUNDATION DAY OF AIBDPA CELEBRATED ENTHUSIASTICALLY

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This time , the Foundation Day of our mighty organisation , AIBDPA was to be celebrated amid  discontentment and strong protest against denial of pension revision and medical facilities to BSNL pensioners and Covid-19 pandemic challenge. All these adverse conditions did not deter our Comrades all over the country from celebrating the Foundation Day befittingly.

Sweets were distributed in many places. In some Districts like Vellore in Tamil Nadu 5 kg rice each was distributed to 65 BSNL contract workers whose wages are not being paid for months, incurring an expenditure of Rs.11,930 to the district Branch. They also utilized the occasion to enroll 16 new members, mostly AGMs and DEs to AIBDPA. All the 8 branches under Vellore District Branch have celebrated the Foundation Day as reported by Com.Jothisudanthiranathan, District Secretary. Kolkata Telecom Factory & Stores along with BSNLEU Kolkata Telephones Circle distributed relief to BSNL Casual Contract workers and the Tea Vendors near the Telecom FActory.

CHQ heartily congratulates all our comrades for celebrating the Foundation Day of our great oragnisation in a fantastic manner. (AIBDPA WEBSITE)

AIBDPA Foundation Day celebrated.

BSNL DOT Pensioners all over the country celebrated the 12th Foundation Day of AIBDPA on 21st October 2020, by hoisting union flag, holding meetings through video conference, WhatsApp meetings etc, maintaining covid protocol. Speeches on the activities, achievements and issues were made by leaders in these meetings. Details will be published in the AIBDPA website.

Congratulations to AIBDPA Comrades!

Com.M.Bhaskaran, former Mayor, Kozhikode Corporation passed away

Very sad news – Com. M. Bhaskaran, former Mayor Kozhikode and State Vice- President, SCFWA and senior leader of CPI(M) has passed away today noon. He was under treatment at Kozhikode Co-op. Hospital. He was 80.Com. Bhaskaran as Mayor had through his excellent leadership done wonderful improvement for Kozhikode Corporation and its people. He was also President of Kozhikode Co-operative Hospital and received Best Hospital award from President of India a few years back.In strengthening the SCFWA Com.M.Bhaskaran’ s valuable contribution is noteworthy. The last state conference of SCFWA at Kozhikode was held under his guidance.He was was always pleasant and helpful to all. He was one of the best administratior. My friendship with him goes back to many decades.His death is a great loss to all of us. Heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family, friends & Comrades. Red Salute!

V.A.N.Namboodiri State President SCFWA.