National Convention on Public Sector held by top Trade Union Activists of India

A webinar was conducted by People First as ‘National Convention on Public Sector’ had speakers from various sectors like telecom, railways, defence, banking, insurance, education, etc. The presidium was shared by Mr. Alok Roy, President, NCOA, Mr. VK Tomar, SG NCOA, Com. Thomas Franco, People First and Mr. Baby Thomas, Advisor, AIPCOC.

Comrade Anil Kumar welcomed all the speakers and participants and displayed his dismay over the fact that despite PSUs being one of the main sources of GDP, our govt. is trying to privatize the PSUs.

In his presidential address, Mr.  V K Tomar stated that we have to protect our public sector so that we don’t have to say which the last PSU is. Unfortunately, public is least bothered about privatization. We are planning to organize this type of convention and programme to fight for the survival of PSU.  He suggested that we all have to fight together in this regard.

M.G.Devasahayam IAS expressed his satisfaction to see people from different PSUs come together in a single forum to discuss. He stated that if all the PSUs are put together, the huge amount of money and entire assets belong to the citizens of India. Vast majority of people might be the sufferer of the monopoly, which will see the light of the day for the upcoming govt. policies, promoting private entities, even though many of the PSUs are far superior than the private sector. This is an act of anti-people drive on the part of the government.

Tapan Sen CITU:The way privatization is going on, economy will collapse. They have changed the environment assessment rules from 2006 and protection measures are being diluted. Coal India is targeted to be marginalized and then privatized. The important aspect right now is to plan for the public support.  Since 1991, they are trying to privatize, but they failed because there have been 20 different strikes. A resistance has to be developed through concrete   action, by that we can draw public support. In 3-4 states govt. has suspended labour laws, just to create a hurdle for trade unions. In many PSUs the employees are terrorized. We should concentrate how at establishment level a common operational platform can be developed between the workers and the officers on the issue of privatization and the operation should be visible that we are opposing and we cannot allow our PSUs to be sold out.

Amarjit Kaur AITUC: We need to develop movements against privatization. In last 6 years, all the works by Modi govt. has been anti people and anti-national. They have targeted all the major PSUs to sell them and disinvest. PSUs are the ones who have always come forward in national emergencies. We should carry on our movements.

R. Chandra Sekaran: Highlighted on govt. movements to privatize public sector. Highlighted on the movement to keep the labour laws intact. Even they are trying to disinvest the profit-making PSUs. We are in discussion with govt., to make them understand the importance of PSUs. They have become insane to finish off everything. They even want to sell out all public properties. We are all supporting the PSUs.

Mr. Sebastian SNEA:Telecom is very familiar to everyone. It’s one of the most important part in our society. Huge investments have taken place in telecom sector and huge revenue is generated through GST and in other forms. The graph is falling down only because of govt. policies. And now the govt. is trying to privatize BSNL. We are the only one providing services in nooks and corners of the country.

Nandita Narayan JFOME: Education is under attack by govt. and funds have been reduced since 1990s. Teachers are kept mute in universities by govt. The funds and subsidies have been reduced. We must protect our constitutional values. The different govt. measures are not helping the teachers and students. Govt. policy is envisaged for business interest. She also highlighted how global forces will rule the school education.

Mr. Elangovan DREU: Govt. minimizing PSUs by privatizing them. 17 types of industries were in PSUs in 1956 which has come down to 8 in 1990s. BSNL, Railway, airport they are targeting all to privatize. Recruitment has been put on hold. There will be no sleeper class, no concession for senior citizens. Govt. is aiming only for profit making. We are trying to unite trade unions to fight against it.

K.V.Ramesh ICF: Highlighted on production units of railways. All the manufacturing units are capable of making 10000 coach units. If privatization happens it will be suicidal for Indian industry. It will not only affect the production units but also MSMEs. Also the corporate tax of 30% will not come if privatized. The suppliers who are dependent on railways will also be affected. We will carry on our fight against the govt.

Anjaneya Reddy BEML EA: After independence, PSBs were open in all segments for socio economic balance and creation of employment opportunities. Defence PSUs are serving in 3 verticals -army, navy, air force. Country will lose precious treasures of the country. The policy is anti people. We are serving country in emergency and in nooks and corners of the country.

K Prakash Former ED HAL: HAL is defined as the force behind the nation. It stands alongside Indian defence for any emergencies. Defence is a national strategy not to be put in private hands and also maintain secrecy of the nation. HAL built up strong capabilities in aerospace technology and it is the backbone of air defence.

Arun Tawde SCI : When govt. was in the mood to privatize Shipping Corporation of India, it came as a shock. PSUs are not created to pay dividend to the govt. Although it was not making profits but also didn’t ask for any monetary help from Govt. But in last quarter, it made a profit of Rs. 312 crore. He requested all trade unions to fight against privatization.

LN Prasad AAI: Despite different movement and fight, the airport has finally gone to private hands. The people of this country never understood the meaning of PSU. Privatization is not panacea to all the heals, govt. must understand. Employment sustained in PSU in turn keeps up many livelihoods. Labour laws have been cut down for privatization. The efficiency of airport authority of India is very good and he insisted that the movement should carry on.

Ajit Pradhan NINL: The employees of NINL are victimized of disinvestment by the govt. Although NINL is making losses but he insisted for merging it with SAIL, RINL, etc. From 2011 -12 , it is incurring losses for the ignorance of the govt. and the major promoter who are responsible for the debacle. He also condemned the decision of disinvestment of NINL which will see the loss of job opportunities for many employees.

Mr. Koya Reddy FACT: He talked about the fertilizer industry as a whole. Subsidy is the main problem here. The waiting period for subsidy stands as a hindrance in the fertilizer industry.

Shivendu Ghosh – Green Rich Shipyards: Ship building sector is very important for the country. All ship yards are profit making. We have also contributed to the PM Care Fund but still the govt. is aggressive for disinvestment to make sure their other agenda gets fulfilled.

Alok Roy President NCOA: Oil sector contributes the most to the govt. he insisted on the role and objective of public sector in our country. We are not as developed as Europe or America. Our regulatory framework is also not that efficient. The corporate heads flew away from country impacting our PSU banks. He blamed the present govt for all these menace. We need a public movement to fight against privatization. We need to be united in this fight taking the public with us.

Bimal Birsi SAIL:He insisted on the significance of nationalization. Steel is the backbone of India for construction. We should highlight this to the media. SAIL has contributed a lot in nation building. The workers Union should fight together in this regard against privatization step of the govt.

M.J.Aji BPCL: Save public sector campaign is not for the employees alone; rather it is for the common citizens. BPCL has always been profit making but they are planning to privatize it and if it is done subsidy will be stopped. Social commitment will take the back seat. We should make it a public movement.

P.P. Krishnan AIIEA: Insurance Industry is facing a challenge of disinvestment. Insurance was nationalised for the public benefits and national development. LIC is one of the biggest insurance company and benefitting the public and privatizing it is not at all justifiable. Govt. should concentrate on the spirit of nationalization and it should not be privatized. We are going for a joint campaign. We should fight against the neo liberal policy and ensure equality in society.

Rajkumar LICOA: Appreciated the initiatives of public sector. Govt. is trying for disinvestment in spite of union opposition to destroy the future of the country. It is in national interest to oppose: It is against the interest of the policy holders. 95 percent surplus is being extended to the policy holders as bonus and five percent to govt. common people will lose at large. We have to prevent this autocratic and undemocratic move of the govt. we will have to fight jointly along with other public sector.

Sailendra Dubey: He talked about the electricity amendment bill and the ills associated with it. He questioned the bill of its timing also during this pandemic situation. Why to experiment it now. The losses are less than the private sector at many places. Govt wants to privatize the power sector. They want to privatize everything related to power sector. Private players are also limited. Only four five players are there. Govt. pre decided whom to hand over. This bill is against the power of the citizens and the states. We are ready to jointly protest.

N. Anilkumar HNOA: Hindustan News Print was a very good company for news print. Hindustan News Print consistently performed well till 2010, ultimately went to losses. We embraced technology for fund scarcity. FI stopped funding us from 2016. Now stopped production from 2018 as per govt order. Salary and allowances stopped. One Staff committed suicide. Sale of the company is on last date Sept 7, 2020. Kerala govt wants to take over

Debasis B. Chaudhury, BEFI: Privatization of PSBs is not new to us. Govt trying from 1991. Formed many committees. Also trying to reduce number of PSBs. Merger is taking place. IDBI has been privatized. Governance pattern is to be changed. PSBs heads are advocating for privatization. Its pro capitalism.

Medha Patkar NAPM: Unemployment is on the rise. Modi govt is trying to sell the public sector in this situation, very unfortunate. Govt all out to sell the PSU to support the capitalists. This sell of BPCL, NPCL will affect badly the employment. Petrol and diesel prices will also impact the public. The poor will suffer. She also criticized the atma nirbhar bharat. Govt is trying to increase the profits of the corporate. We all must stand against the privatization moves she urged.

Prof.Sushil Khanna IIM Calcutta: By presenting a power point presentation, he established that PSUs are profitable and making large resources for the country. By and large all are profitble. Even private sector incurs losses.

P. Rajamanickam AIPSN: PSU associations are united and it is welcoming. We can see the impact of globalization. PSUs contribution is beyond doubt. He appreciated people first. Govt. has failed to keep its promises with regard to PSUs and common citizens. All should extend support to PSUs  and people first campaign.

Ashok Choudhury AIUFP: He expressed his solidarity totally. We support the PSU. We are against privatization. PSUs are public resources. We should be independent from political pressure. Autonomy of PSU is important for national growth for our own people. All workers struggles should be united. We should establish a common link and common slogan to safeguard the public resources. It will be a long struggle to save the public sector. Lets resolve to save it.

Maj. Gen. Sudhir Vombatkere: Public Sector and Security of the Nation are correlated. I appeal to PM to reconsider Privatisation.

V. Balachandran IPS : PSU are not for profit motive only but for country’s progress.  Govt. policy trying to kill the PSUs like BSNL is bad. The govt. should help PSUs . Private sector are taking advantage, it should be stopped.

Comrade Dinesh Abrol, People First: We need not be defensive. We have contributed to the very foundation of the country. It should be brought in public. Private sector got the support but they have not contributed to manufacturing. We need to be offensive. Our contribution to the Nation building need to be highlighted. He urged upon to save the public sector which is the theme of people first. We will take this fight together. He announced a Working Group chaired by Mr. Ajay Sankar.

Sashikant Senthil IAS: He deliberated on a way forward for the Public Sector.  We have a populist govt. They claim people’s mandate and they will do their own way. They have their agendas. No one can question them. They have destroyed our independent institutions including mass media. We need a mass movement which is the only way out. Students and masses fought bravely. We need to hit the roads or else no point in discussing with them. Many social organizations are ready to join us. We can start small mass movements. We should learn from the student movements and start it. Thousands of hands will join us. We need an organization to initiate it. Let’s work together.

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