National Coordination Committee of Pensioners Associations
Monday, April 8, 2019
RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY SECRETARIAT ON GENERAL ELECTIONS
The National Secretariat of NCCPA, which met at New Delhi on 16th March, 2019 while reviewing its efforts in the last five years getting the Government to address the issues, concerns, grievances and demands of Central Govt. Pensioners came to the conclusion that the nugatory attitude of the Government in power at the Centre was the root cause of not finding resolution to any of the issues. It was so disappointing for the entire Pensioner community that the Government chose to crush their expectation for a decent pension raised by the recommendation of the 7th Central Pay Commission by rejecting the Option No. 1 on the specious ground that it was not feasible to be implemented due to the non availability of records in the case of a minor segment of them. The recommendation, if accepted, would have brought about the much sought after parity between the past and present pensioners.
The meeting noted with dismay and anger that during the five year period, the NDA under the BJP was in power they had acted contrary to the directive principles enshrined in the constitution of the country i.e. to provide justice to the people, social , economic and political. It had continued with the hated neo-liberal economic policies, the change of which was the ardent hope of the people when they voted them to power in 2014. The UPA-2 regime’s adherence to these policies, discarding the welfare scheme evolved by the successive post independent governments of the country, which had been the greatest source of sustenance of the poor people; permitting the unhindered foray of private enterprises in every sphere of economic and industrial activities; the rampant corruption were the significant concerns of the Indian multitude in 2014. They expected a change, a change that will bring about deliverance from abject poverty and hunger. They were disappointed and are despondent.
The Central Government employees and pensioners know well how this government took decisions on the recommendations of the 7th CPC. There had been no negotiation at all- a complete departure from what had been the practice hitherto. Assurances held out to force withdrawal of the indefinite strike slated to commence in July, 2016 was never honoured. Not even once the group of Ministers met the union representatives, thereafter. The JCM which was set up as a forum for effecting negotiation with the employees never met even once during the Modi regime. Even small issues, which has a bearing only over a very small segment of the employees were not addressed. Only those benefits the higher echelons in the bureaucracy received consideration and favourable nod. The employees were dragged to litigation and there had been an eruption of petitions before the Courts. Contrary to its own directive not to prefer appeal over the verdicts of the Administrative Tribunals, this Government had been preferring even writ petitions against the Tribunal’s orders as a matter of routine, derailing the process of an expeditious justice delivery system. This attitude resulted in the litigants ( who are often pensioners or low paid employees) to shell out enormous amounts to plead their cases before Courts to seek justice. Even after such procrastinated and inhuman journey, the Government either will not act upon these judgements or restrict the application of those judgements only to those who were the petitioners in the court. This has been the gruelling story of pensioners and employees in the last five years. Never in the history of wage negotiations the Government especially in the matter of pension had taken recourse to rejection of a recommendation made by the Pay Commission. Before the Courts, the Government avers that the recommendations of the Pay commissions are to be treated as one that has emanated from an expert body after deliberations of all pros and cons. The opinion No. 1 was conceived by the Commission to bring in parity between the past and present pensioners in real terms. It was rejected on the malicious ground that it was not feasible to implement in the absence of relevant records. It was admitted unashamedly that the records were available in 86%of the cases and in the rest of the cases supplementary evidences could be collected to operationalise Option No 1. It is not difficult to discern the real reason behind such rejection as the said recommendation was not providing the requisite benefit for the personnel in organised Group A services, as they are favoured with a time-bound promotion scheme throughout their service career. The alternate suggestion made by the Committee headed by the Secretary Pension was to benefit the very same personnel in Group A services. It was strange that even the most sensible suggestion put forth by the Staff Side to offer all the three options to the Pensioners were summarily rejected.
Throughout the five year reign, this Government had been pursuing crony capitalism. The decision taken just before the announcement of the elections to hand over the six Indian Airports to private influential Group of companies is a befitting example. The country had been going through a continuous period of crisis, be it in agriculture, farm prices, industry, trade or employment. Farm income has crashed to its lowest levels against the poll promise of doubling it; rural wage growth was abysmally poor at 0.5%, unemployment has risen to the highest peak in the last 45 years as per CME, whose report has been concealed; the money collected over the sale of PSU shares had been doubled in the five years; all constitutional institutions were subjected to attack eroding its autonomy; resurgence of corruption in defence deals involving crores; indulgence in jingoistic nationalism to garner votes; to put faith beyond the pale of constitutional law and above all systematic disruption of the social harmony had been some of the hall-marks of the present Government in its five year long governance.
The meeting thus came to the inescapable conclusion that a relook into the issues concerning the working people and pensioners would become possible only and only if a change is brought about by replacing the present people in the governance of the country . The inevitable democratic process for which the country is committed to, provides an opportunity to its citizens to make a change every five years. The coming two months will witness a fierce battle between those who want to retain the power and those who want to stop them at all costs. The meeting decided to appeal all its members to strive hard through diligent exercise of their franchise enlisting the support of all sections of the working class to bring about a change of Government in the country in the coming elections.
The state of economy and society
After the five years of NDA regime
- During these five years every area of economic activity has been opened up for direct foreign investment promoting maximisation of profit by them
- Large scale of privatisation of public assets and handing over prime assets to chosen foreign and Indian corporates.
- Unfettered promotion of crony capitalism as reflected in the Rafale scam, the granting of rights to privatise domestic airports , India’s first power sector SEZ to the Adani Group on the eve of election, removing all previous curbs on funding political parties , introduction of electoral bonds as the route to reap the spoils of such cronyism,
- Facilitating and promoting the loot of public money as reflected in the Rs.11 lakh crore plus amount of NPA.
- Destruction of livelihood of corers of people surviving on cash transactions through demonetisation.
- Virtual destruction of the micro small and medium enterprises the largest employment provider after agriculture through the implementation of the GST. The Mudra loan NPAs rose to 53per cent in the first nine months of 2018-19 from 2017-18.
- Farm income crashed to the lowest in 14 years during the last quarter of October-December, 2018 at 2.67 per cent (Central Statistics Office) RBI reports that loans that are not returned in the farm sector increased to Rs; 1lakh crore in September, 2018 from Rs. 70000 crores in September,2017.This is the level of agrarian distress leading to rising distress suicides of farmers.
- Our youth are frustrated due to the sharp fall in employment opportunities during the last few years. Modi had promised creation of 2 crore new jobs annually i;e. 10 crores by now. Reality is that the unemployment rate rose to the highest levels in 45 years at 6.1. per cent. (NSSo) Unemployment rate inFeb.2019 increased to 7.1. per cent from 5.9 per cent in 2018 (Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy) Situation in rural India is worse. NSSSO reports a 3.2.crore job loss of casual labourers from 2011-12 to 2017-18 affecting over1.5 crore families dependent on income from Casual labour and agriculture.
- As per the Gujarat Assembly records, the crime against SC and ST increased by 32% and 55% respectively during the last five years in that state.
- Women have been subjected to increased violence. The year 2016 reported a big increase in crimes against women- four rapes on an average per hour. Since then the Government has stopped publishing statistics by the National crime records bureau in this regard.
- During these five years the share of the total wealth accruing to the top one per cent of the population increased from 49 per cent in 2014 to 73 per cent in 2018.
- The lowest growth rate of GDP during these five years from.8.2 per cent in 2013-14 to 7percent in the first three quarters of 2018-19 even according to the motivated data series introduced by the Government. According to the earlier data series this stands at mere 4.7 percent.
- In the last quarter, the GDP growth rate fell further to6.6 per cent indicating that the economy is sliding into a recession. So much for Modi’s claims of India being the “fastest growing economy” in the world.
- GST collection despite all the tall claims shown steady decline from 7.6 per cent in 2017-18 to 5.8 per cent in 2018-19. This reflect a massive slowdown in the economy.
- Demonetisation and GST were a double whammy attack undermining the country’s economic fundamentals. Pre-demonetisation global GDP was 2.6 per cent and grew post demonetisation to 3.1.percent. In contrast, the post demonetisation India’s GDP growth fell from. 7.6 per cent to 6.8 per cent.
- Destruction of people’s livelihood has led to a drastic fall in levels of domestic demand crippling manufacturing and industrial growth. As a consequence, the country’s leading automobile manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki has announced a production cut of 27 per cent citing the fall in demand. The eight core infrastructure industries growth saw a decline of 2.9 per cent between February, 2014 and January, 2019. The index of industrial production registered an abysmal low of 0.3 percent inNovember,2018 compared to an average growth of 5.7 per cent in the preceding seven month.
- Depreciation of rupee to its lowest levels- the value of the rupee to a US dollar was 63.19in 2014. This shot to71.76 in 2019 .
- Drastic fall in India’s export earnings – Between Feb.2014 and January, 2019 India’s trade balance declined by whopping 29.8per cent. Growing current account deficit ie. Gap between India’s export and Import value has been registered during these five years. The current account deficit increased from 1 per cent of the GDP in 201718 to. 2.9 per centin 2018-19. In dollar terms this translates into deficit growth from 6.1. billion US dollars to 19.1. billion.
- Agriculture growth is at a record low during these years. Agricultural growth rate fell from 5.1. percent to 2.7 per cent and further to 1.7per cent between Feb. 2015 and Feb,2019(CSO) The fourth successive negative growth rate registered in the last four quarters.
- The incidents of terror have exponentially gown between 2009-14 and 2014-19. The number of terrorist attacks increased from 109 to 626. The number of security personnel killed increased from 139 to 483. The number of civilians killed increased from 12 to 210 and the number of ceasefire violations increased from 563 to 5596.
- There is an alarming rise in the number of local youth joining militant groups. Local militants killed rose from 16 in2014 to 191 in 2018.
- Foreign policy orientation changed to dovetail to US global strategic interests reducing India as a junior partner of US imperialism.
- Deterioration of friendly relations with all neighbouring countries.
- Deepening defence ties with USA and Israel.
- Virtual abandonment of India’s leadership role in the non- aligned movement.
- Abandoning India’s traditional solidarity with the people of different countries whose sovereignty is being attacked by US Imperialism including military interventions. The latest instance being Venezuela.
- During these five years, the BJP , particularly Narendra Modi has betrayed every single promise that was made to the Indian people. Generation of two crore jobs every year i.e. ten crores by now and MSP of 1.5. times the total cost of production to the farmers, return of black money and depositing 15 lakhs in the account of all Indians and so on.
- Engaging in a despicable politicising of the issue of terrorist attacks when the entire country and all opposition parties stood as one to fight terrorism.
- Sharp decline in the working conditions for the working class and employees is accompanied by unbearable hike in the price of petroleum products with the Government refusing to reduce its taxes and duties.
- Deepening agrarian distress leading to the ruination of the Indian farmers and growth in distress suicides.