'3 Minutes Each, It's A Joke': Trade Unions Boycott Budget Meet With Nirmala Sitharaman

Earlier on Friday, the forum protested against a restricted video conference for pre-budget consultations in a letter shot off to Sitharaman and demanded a physical meeting with fair time being given to speak.

'3 Minutes Each, It's A Joke': Trade Unions Boycott Budget Meet With Nirmala Sitharaman

A JOINT forum of 10 central trade unions called for a buycott of the virtual pre-budget consultation with finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on November 28 and demanded a physical meeting with fair time being given to speak.

In a letter on Friday, the forum stated, "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."

Earlier on Friday, the forum had also jointly protested against a restricted video conference for pre-budget consultations in a letter shot off to Sitharaman.

"We are constrained to express our disappointment for calling this meeting on virtual mode despite the complete easing of Covid restrictions, and that to for 75 minutes only for consultation involving more than 12 central trade unions, maybe 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," they forum had stated.

Later on Friday, the forum received another letter from the finance ministry saying that every participant will be allotted three minutes to make their suggestions.

Soon after that, the forum sent another letter and mentioned that the CTUs therefore have decided to boycott the proposed video conference.

The forum also requested Sitharaman "to seriously reconsider convening of a physical meeting with reasonable time-allotment for effective consultations in the pre-budget meeting with the trade unions." Additionally, it also invited the finance minister for an open debate about these policies without any time restrictions on her to defend the policies followed by her.

The trade unions of the forum include INTUC, AITUC, TUCC, SEWA, HMS, CITU, AICCTU, LPF, AIUTUC and UTUC.

 (With inputs from agency)

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