20 lakh crore package just “jugglery of figures”: AITUC

It said that the government completely ignored the working masses of the country


On Tuesday, May 12, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation announcing a Rs. 20 lakh crore package called the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan about making India self-reliant post the lockdown. The next day onwards, the Financial Minister Nirmala Sitharaman came on board to give out details of the financial package and who would get what share of it. Two days into the announcements, one can easily make out that the package is an act of mathematical jugglery as it announces a number of measures already taken by the government. The amount of new spending appears to be between Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 50,000 crore as cited by experts.

In wake of this, the All India Trade Union Congress issued a statement saying, “Ms. Sitharaman repeated rhetorics of the PM’s address once again and then repeated the mission of ATAM NIRBHAR BHARAT NIRMAN, another slogan coined by the government which lives on slogans and acts just opposite to what the slogan intends. Most of the announcements which had the nature of some financial delivery were already taken on board through previously announced packages, the already made budgetary allocations, or the existing welfare schemes of the workers. Further concessions to direct tax payers, but no concerns for the lives of almost 80 percent indirect tax payers of the country.”

The AITUC said that the package announced by the FM after the Prime Minister made a big hype of his so called 20 lakh crore package to meet the requirements to fight corona and revival of economy shows apathy and criminal neglect of the plight of workers and farmers, the have nots and the vulnerable sections of the society.  

The AITUC claimed that the contractor lobby with major infrastructure projects was given several concessions but nothing for the labour in the sector which is a vast majority of migrant workers. It stated, “She claimed ‘achievements’ of the previous five year term and of the second term for building self-reliant Bharat. The facts are on the contrary that the Government policies had ruined our indigenous sector including MSMEs for which she seemed to be batting but only for 40 lakh units whereas there are more than 6 crores of these units. Does the govt. plan for cutting the sector to let the units vanish in favour of the Corporate big business houses of Indian and foreign origin with unlimited greed of profits who desire to own everything on earth undermining environment and ecology? That has been the direction of economic model of Modi Government throughout these six years.”

It also said that demonetization and GST had brought miseries to the peasantry and all the working masses, apart from the MSME sector. It also said that the demands of the trade unions and SMEs that the government pay for the wages of workers from April onwards was not heeded to and instead the builders and real estate lobby was given a guarantee and advised to borrow from banks, NBFCs, MFI, etc.

It added. “EPF share giving a meager amount will cover only 3.6 lakh units with 72.2 lakh beneficiaries, but this is the commentary on the reality. The workforce in India which is devoid of any EPF benefit is more than 450 million( more than 45 crores), it is for this workforce we asked for cash transfer of Rs 7500/ for three months until they start earning, but the govt. has not announced any thing.”

The AITUC also said that the people even with valid papers could not access what relief was announced for them and those without documents were left to fend for themselves.

Terming the announcement more of a “jugglery with figures” and “some false claims”, Amarjeet Kaur, General Secretary of the AITUC said, “The government stands with the big businesses and ignored the vast majority population – the working masses of our country.”


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