Monday March 30, 2020
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Manmohan Singh slams economic policies of Modi government

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New Delhi: Former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday slammed the policies of the Narendra Modi government, saying economy faces fragile recovery, there was inadequate job creation and uncertainty ahead for public enterprises.

Addressing the 31st plenary session of Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) here, he said there was dissatisfaction among workers over “anti-labour and unimaginative economic policies of the NDA government”.

“The trade union movement has to be aware that at present Indian economy faces a fragile recovery and inadequate expansion of employment opportunities. Public enterprises face an uncertain future,” he said, adding employment-oriented programmes such as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act face reduced allocations.

“In the name of structural labour reforms, efforts are being made to reduce the scope for secure industrial jobs in favour of contract labour and hire and fire approach. It is generally agreed that we need at least 500 million skilled workers by 2022. The actual pace on the ground is only a fraction of this target,” he said.

Manmohan Singh said industrial strife, strikes and lockouts were not the best means to resolve unrest.

“We must enlarge the available space for resolving industrial problems through peaceful dialogue involving all the stakeholders of the tripartite process – namely workers, industry and government.”

He said Congress has always believed that trade union movement is an integral part of social democracy and every encouragement ought to be provided to promote collective bargaining to secure for labour a just and fair share of development’s benefits, but the movement has to take into account fast-changing social and economic conditions and make an objective assessment of the present regime’s economic and social policies and their implications for the working classes.

Noting that removing poverty was a major task before the country and requires a high rate of economic growth and a rapid increase in employment opportunities, Manmohan Singh said there was a broad consensus that India’s economy needs to grow at an annual rate of about eight percent and there should be productive new job opportunities for 10-12 million people every year.

He said the trade union movement can play a very important role in ensuring that the growth process is both inclusive as well as environmentally sustainable and INTUC’s agenda of job creation, respect for labour standards and rights at work responds well to these imperatives.

“This visionary agenda rightly focuses on providing productive job opportunities to young workers, ensure zero gender discrimination, and expanding the frontiers of social security focusing on health, education and housing and guarantee of freedom of association and collective bargaining,” he said.

He called on INTUC to expand its coverage to cover more workers in the unorganised sectors such as agriculture and construction and pay particular attention to needs of women workers. INTUC, which came into existence in 1947, must also play a more important role in programmes relating to workers education and skill development, he added.

(IANS)

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No Need to Panic: PM Narendra Modi on Lockdown

Don't panic, essential items will be available: Modi

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coronavirus Narendra mod
Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to the people not to panic as all essential commodities like medicines and milk would be available during the shutdown. Pixabay

After announcing a 21-day nationwide lockdown to stop the spread of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to the people not to panic as all essential commodities like medicines and milk would be available during the shutdown.

Soon after his address to the nation, the Prime Minister tweeted: “My fellow citizens, there is absolutely no need to panic. Essential commodities, medicines etc. would be available. Centre and various state governments will work in close coordination to ensure this. Together, we will fight COVID-19 and create a healthier India.”

In another tweet, Modi said, “By converging around shops, you are risking the spread of COVID-19. No panic buying please. Please stay indoors. I repeat — Centre and State Governments will ensure all essentials are available.”

coronavirus Narendra modi
Earlier, Modi said in his second special address to the nation within a week, “With folded hands, I request you to stay put wherever you are.” Wikimedia Commons

His appeal came after people across the country started thronging the shops to buy essential items in view of the nationwide three-week lockdown starting Tuesday midnight.

Earlier, Modi said in his second special address to the nation within a week, “With folded hands, I request you to stay put wherever you are.”

He added that he was mindful of the economic ramifications of the decision. Modi warned that if people don’t follow a complete lockdown for the coming 21 days, the nation will go back 21 years and many families will be devastated.

Also Read- Here’s How Robots are Helping Fight Coronavirus

He also said many powerful countries in the world have become helpless, regardless of their efforts. He once again reiterated that social distancing was the only way to deal with the dreaded virus that has infected more than 500 people in India so far.

“Some people are under the misconception that social distancing is only for those infected with coronavirus… But they should understand that this is for everyone because it is important to break the cycle,” Modi said in his address to the nation. (IANS)