New Delhi: A railway employees’ association today said the Union Budget for 2018-19 was “anti-workers” as there was nothing for their welfare. In a statement, the All India Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF) said the budget came as “a dampener” for the entire sector.
“It is a very disappointing budget for the hardworking workers. There is nothing for their welfare in the budget and instead of relaxation in personal tax, they have increased education and health cess. The workers have been duped,” AIRF general secretary Shiv Gopal Mishra said. In the budget, Rs 314.24 crore has been earmarked for amenities for railway staff. Last year, it was Rs 235.76 crore. For staff quarters, an additional sum of Rs 353 crore has been allotted in the budget.
The railways also has a corpus of Rs 762.58 crore for compensation claims of workmen. The association also criticised the government’s move towards fixed-term employment, stating that this policy would be used to easily fire workers and was against procedures and international labour norms. “This is a show-off budget and it has adversely affected not just railway workers but workers in general. The railways plans to electrify 36,000 km of rail tracks, redevelop 600 stations…they have been talking about these things for a long time,” Mishra said in the statement.
The statement further said that the budget should have focused on issues of minimum wage and improvement in the fitment formula, and should have provided fixed pension schemes or family pension schemes for workers instead of the National Pension Scheme. “They have ignored real issues and this will only lead to industrial unrest,” the statement said.