ON THE EVE OF THE
58T ANNIVERSARY OF THE FEDERATION.
10th February every year, we hoist our Federation flag in front of all offices. It is on that day in 1953, the founding Conference of the Federation was held at Nagpur. Last year on this day we commenced our 27th Conference in the City of Mumbai and the delegates from all States witnessed the unfurling of our Flag by the President of our Federation Com. V.S.R.Krishna. 10th February, is no doubt an important day in our calendar, when we assemble to salute the flag of the Federation, to renew our promise to those comrades, who with their Supreme efforts against all odds; facing the trials and tribulations; with unparallel sacrifice gave shape to the movement of the Tax employees and built ITEF as a strong and militant trade Union Movement. I convey the fraternal greeting on behalf of the Secretariat of the ITEF to all of you comrades on the eve of the 58th anniversary of our Federation.
All sections of the working people along with peasants had been on an incessant struggle against the neo-liberal economic policies for the past two decades. The Tax employees under the banner of ITEF had been an integral part of those struggles and strike actions. Our sovereign Republic and its rulers have become subservient to the Transnational Corporations. The third world countries which are to depend upon the advanced nations of the world for technological advancement had been a victim (some under compulsion and other voluntarily) of the policy of globalization propounded by the Transnational Corporations for maximizing profit. Through the troika of IMF, World Bank and WTO they continue to impose reforms on third world countries in the name of structural adjustments. It was a ploy or a device to effect the reverse flow of capital from the poor to the rich countries. A great part of the GDP of third world countries has been transferred to rich advanced nations. The global financial crisis that has engulfed the entire advanced countries in the last year had its disastrous impact on all those Nations who adopted the Globalisation prescription of the IMF for development, our country being no exception. The crisis has proved beyond an iota of doubt that the neo-liberal economic policies which dominated the world economic system for the last three decades is no prescription for development but only accentuates the inequality of wealth between Nations and inequality of income within the society.
The UPA Government could not make the necessary enactments in the Parliament needed to push the Pension reforms due to the determined and stubborn resistance of the left parties with whose support only the Government existed. The UPA II cabinet has now decided to reintroduce the PFRDA bill in the next session of the Parliament. The Direct Taxes Code which was placed on the Website for a wider discussion outside the Parliament is also likely to come up for enactment in the Budget Session. The code is devised to tax the lower income group of tax payers further while giving more and more concession to the rich tax payers and corporate houses. The Direct Taxes Code, we are informed, would also go to reduce the efficacy of the law enforcing agencies, especially the Income tax Administration. The Confederation, as you are aware, is already in discussion with the leaders of the All India State Government Employees Federation and Teachers Federations to forge a united platform against these two enactments which are likely to come up for the consideration of the Parliament in the Budget Session.
The 6th CPC recommendations which were highly loaded in favour of the top echelons of the bureaucracy when implemented has thrown up innumerable anomalies. If the discussions at the National Anomaly Committee are any indication, the deliberations are likely to be a protracted exercise as the official side would not like to settle any issues but to perpetuate the injustice. It is likely to have the same fate as that of the Anomaly Committees set up by the Government in the wake of the 5th Central Pay Commission. Not a single item in those committees was allowed to be settled nor the disagreed issues referred to an Arbitrator as per the agreement reached with the Group of Ministers.
Though the system of periodical meetings with the Chairman, CBDT has been brought about, it has so far not been able to address the problems and issues concerning employees raised during these discussions. One genuinely thought that things would undergo some change for improvement when a new Directorate for Human Resource Development was established. Our experience with the new Directorate has so far been disappointing.
The spiraling inflation, a phenomenon brought about due to the anti-people economic policies of the UPA Government, has eroded the real value of the wage of the workers beyond redemption. The peasants and Agricultural workers and the workers in the unorganized sectors who do not have a dearness compensation for the rise in prices (Howsoever defective it is) are the worst sufferers. It is reported that an employee at the lowest level of the hierarchy has to now earmark about 65% of his total emoluments on essential food commodities, which was much lesser prior to 1.1.2006 i.e. before the implementation of the 6th CPC. There had been no effort worth mentioning on the part of the Government to contain the unbridled price rise which had been the product of the defective economic policies pursued by it. The low paid workers and the common man bear the brunt. The days ahead are difficult and call for a stronger, militant and united movement of the working class.
On this auspicious occasion, let me appeal to you to uphold the spirit of unity and struggle.
Dated: 1st February, 2010