Policy Issues

GenNext in Search of an Alternative

RECENTLY, the government had to retract its proposal to tax withdrawal on provident fund deposits. Apart from sharp criticism and opposition from labour unions, there was also an overwhelming opposition from the employed sections, both government and private, who were not organised, to this proposal. A petition opposing taxing of EPF went viral and social media platforms were abuzz with witty criticisms against the government on the above two issues.

TRAI Bars Facebook's Data Colonialism

ON Monday, February 8, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued its regulations barring differential pricing of data based on content. This has been welcomed widely as a step forward in keeping the internet free from capture by an emerging alliances of global internet monopolies and telcos. Indeed, TRAI's decision goes beyond what Federal Communication Commission (FCC) in the US had decided on net neutrality. Currently, the FCC is enmeshed in a variety of what are called zero rating cases, and hearing them on a case to case basis.

TRIPURA: Pension Schemes for Informal Sector Workers Launched

THE Left Front government of Tripura took another path breaking step by introducing pension scheme for anganwadi workers and helpers at their attaining the age of 60 years and also social pension schemes for female domestic workers, transgender persons, leprosy patients and AIDS patients. The decision to this effect was taken in the meeting of the council of ministers. Chief Minister Manik Sarkar briefed the media about the decisions at the secretariat. 

MoU on Bank Wage Revision Signed, Strike Deferred

AFTER over two years since the tenth bipartite settlement became due, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in the form of minutes was exchanged between the Indian Banks Association (IBA) representing the managements of various banks and the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) representing close to ten lakh bank employees and officers with five workmen unions and four officers unions as its constituents on 23 February 2015 in Mumbai. Two other unions namely NUBE and Karmachari Sena also inked the MoU separately.

Economic Survey 2014-15

BREAKING from tradition, the BJP-led NDA government has chosen to issue a two (as opposed to single)-volume edition of the Economic Survey, released as per convention on the day before the budget for coming fiscal year 2015-16 was presented. The Survey is meant to be a ‘state of the economy’ report that identifies the positives that can be leveraged and the negatives that need to be addressed when the finance minister rises to present his budget. It is as much an assessment of the situation as a justification of the direction that the budget would take.

‘NITI Aayog Has To Play a Pro-Active Role in The Planned Development of the Country’

Below is the text of the speech delivered by Manik Sarkar, chief minister of Tripura at the first meeting of the governing council of National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog on February 8, 2015 at New Delhi.

NITI Aayog, which has replaced the Planning Commission, should not push India towards a market-driven economy and privatisation in all spheres. Public resources should not be put at the disposal of the private sector and the market forces.

Draft Road Transport and Safety Bill Retrogative and Anti-people

THE All India Road Transport Workers’ Federation (AIRTWF) organised a two-day seminar-cum-workshop at Tirupati on December 6 and 7 to discuss the pros and cons of the Draft Road Transport and Safety Bill, 2014 and its implications. The meeting was hosted by the APSRTC Staff and Workers Federation and was attended by political leaders, transport experts and professionals, legal experts and representatives of state motor vehicle departments, besides federation members and leaders.

MAHARASHTRA: Massive CPI(M) March in Solapur on Housing Issue

MORE than 40,000 people marched in Solapur on December 24, 2014 under the banner of the CPI(M), demanding that the state government immediately sanction the proposed housing projects for the poor, along with the necessary budgetary allocations. This march started from the CPI(M) office at Datta Nagar and culminated at the district collector's office. Thousands of members of the housing projects participated. A huge number of them were women. The march was led by CPI(M) Central Committee member Narsayya Adam, ex-MLA.

Fight To Save & Strengthen MGNREGA In Favour Of The Workers

THE BJP which had promised the creation of jobs as its prime election slogan has openly declared war on MGNREGA, the only demand driven legal guarantee for employment of at least 100 days a year per family in rural India. The legislation, though poorly implemented, had brought some relief to the unemployed and underemployed rural poor. According to the Economic Survey presented by the BJP finance minister Arun Jaitley in June this year, under this legislation 4.5 crore households had been provided an average of 45 days work in 2013-2014 at an average daily wage of Rs 132.


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