Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday stressed that the government has no intention to privatise either the railways or Coal India Ltd but instead plans to focus on creating more jobs while safeguarding the rights of workers.
“The government has no intention to privatise either railways or Coal India. The focus of the government is to create more jobs and employment opportunities beside safeguarding the existing jobs and give better environment for ease of living for the common man among others,” he said at a pre-Budget meeting with representatives of trade unions.
Representatives of 11 trade unions attended the meeting with their budget wish-list that included an increase in income tax exemption limit for salaried class to Rs 5 lakh and immediate stop to plans of disinvestment in profit-making in public sector units. “Jaitley assured representatives of various trade unions that government has no intention to privatise either the Railways or Coal India,” an official release quoted him as saying.
Jaitley said the government wants to create better social security system for the labour force working both in organised and unorganised sector.
Trade union representative demanded that disinvestment in profit-making public sector units be stopped forthwith and budgetary support should be given for revival of potentially viable sick CPSUs.
“In particular, we opposed the ordinance on the coal sector, insurance sector and Land Acquisition Act…we demand all such ordinances should be withdrawn forthwith,” All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) Secretary DL Sachdev said after the meeting. They also opposed FDI in crucial sectors like defence production.