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Why a forum of trade unions have decided to boycott budget meeting?

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New Delhi, Nov 27: A joint forum of 10 central trade unions has decided to boycott the virtual pre-budget consultation with finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman which is scheduled to be held on November 28, according to PTI report.

It is an annual exercise under which representatives of different sectors give suggestions and raise demands to be addressed through the Budget.

Why a forum of trade unions have decided to boycott budget meeting?

Why it has decided to boycott the meeting?

It has expressed its unhappiness against a restricted video conference for pre-budget consultations and for the time allotted to the each union during the meet. "Now your email dated November 25, 2022 under reference, makes it explicit that each central trade union will be allowed to speak for three minutes. This is a joke and we refuse to be part of such a cheap joke. We will not participate in the proposed video conference on November 28, 2022," the forum said in the letter sent to the finance minister.

Amidst inflation concerns, Sitharaman speaks of very carefully structured budgetAmidst inflation concerns, Sitharaman speaks of very carefully structured budget

INTUC, AITUC, TUCC, SEWA, HMS, CITU, AICCTU, LPF, AIUTUC and UTUC are the unions which are part of the forum.

"We are constrained to express our disappointment for calling this meeting on virtual mode despite complete easing of Covid restrictions, and that to for 75 minutes only for consultation involving more than 12 central trade unions, may be more as indicated by the invitation letter. As per the labour ministry's physical verification, there are 12 central trade unions in our country. That means less than five minutes or even less for each organisation, if time for customary opening remarks is taken into account," the forum said in an earlier letter.

It has also urged the ministry "to seriously reconsider convening of a physical meeting with reasonable time-allotment for effective consultations in the pre-budget meeting with the trade unions." The forum has asked Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to participate in an open debate about these policies without any time restrictions.

Nirmala Sitharaman
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Nirmala Sitharaman

In India, there are over dozen dozen central trade unions in the country, including Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), which is not part of the joint forum.

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