NATIONAL CO-ORDINATION COMMITTEE
OF PENSIONERS ASSOCIATIONS..
(Registered undder the
T.U. Act.No. RTU01/2021.Dated.7.01.2021
PAN No. AAEAN8586F
E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
13.c Feroze Shah Road,
New Delhi. 110 001
President: Com. Shiv Gopal Mishra. (97176 47594)
Secretary General: Com. K.K.N. Kutty. (98110 48303)
Dated: 31st July, 2022.
Sub: Declining medical facilities- solidary and support
For the postal workers on strike.
We send herewith an extract from the circular letter of the Confederation of Central Government employees and workers, which is self explanatory. The Confederation has called upon its affiliates and state units to hold demonstration on 10th August, 2022 at all work places in support of the striking Postal workers. As you could see from the circular letter of the confederation, the postal workers struggle is not for any pecuniary benefit but to oppose the privatisation of a century old institution by the Government of India The Postal Savings Bank which had been in operation with the exchequer guarantee for more than a century and which has about 30 crore subscribers with deposit exceeding 10 lakh crores will be merged with the newly created corporate body called the India Post Payment Bank. As is the case with the Pension fund, the people’s money would be kept at the disposal of the private entrepreneurs. This must be seen from the fact that under the Banking regulations of the country, the Bank needs to guarantee a payment of just Rs. 1 lakh for whatever quantum of deposits with them. The Post Office savings bank accounts are mostly subscribed by the Central Government employees and the pensioners
The Indian economy suffered its worst set back during the covid pandemic period. It had been on its downside slide even before that. The induced price rise on petroleum products had its cascading impact and the inflation that has set in refuses to wane despite the concerted attempts of the RBI. The prices of all essential food articles have risen and the rate of unemployment is presently the highest of the recent history of our Nation. The Sri Lankan situation, which has been explained in the confederation circular has not however, made any impact on the Indian rulers as they refuse to revisit the economic policies, whereas further privatisation is resorted to. The three decades pursuance of the neo liberal policies has widened the inequality in our society.
The fixed wage earners and the pensioners are the worst affected in this scenario. The health care facilities in respect of pensioners have declined drastically during the period. The commitment made by the Director General, when we met him more than a month back to set right the problems has remained unhonoured. To the specific query raised in the Parliament over the matter, the Government has chosen to reply with irrelevant statistics. It appears that the CGHS is on its way out.
NCCPA, therefore calls upon its affiliates and State CGPAs and COCs to organise demonstration on 10th August, 2022 in front of the Main Post offices in their respective cities/towns and district headquarters to express solidarity with the striking postal workers as also to oppose the recalcitrant attitude of the Government towards the health related issues of the pensioners. The following savingrams may be sent to the concerned authorities after such demonstration.
To The Secretary, Communications, Dak Bhawan, Patel Chowk, New Delhi. 110 001.
“STOP PRIVATISATION OF POSTAL FUNCTIONS’
To The Director-General CGHS, Chandralok Buildign, Janpath, New Delhi. 110 001.
“REVIVE MEDICAL FACILITIES TO THE PENSIONERS”
Name (Secretary) ……………………………………………………
Name of the Unit: ……………………………………………………
Extract from the circular letter of Confederation of CGE& workers.
On 10th August, 2022, the entire Postal workers in the country, irrespective of organisational affiliation, shall be on a day’s strike. The strike is to register their protest over the decision to privatise some of the functions of the Postal Department. The theme and concept of the new economic policies ushered in 1991 were to effect withdrawal of the Government from all economic activities and leave the space for unhindered exploitation by the private enterprises. This had been one of the prominent conditions imposed by the international lending agencies as part of their globalisation, liberalisation and privatisation policies. The vast communication network of the Postal department, built over a period of more than a century always attracted the private players but the comparatively un-remunerative user charges fixed as a policy to help out the common people acted as a deterrent. The efforts of the successive Government to hive off the lucrative functions of the Department had always been on the anvil. The present Government which came to power in 2014, not only adhered to the new economic policies but also ensured its intensification and acceleration. The Government departments were destined to take a hop step and jump to privatisation viz. first corporatisation as a Public Sector undertaking and then disinvestment and privatisation. The 41 ordinance factories under the Defence Ministry has already taken the first step and the Government formed seven companies and are awaiting the eventual privatisation. There had been very many attempts to privatise the functions of the Postal Department. Some of them did not succeed as the private enterprises did not see super profit possibility and many others in the face of the stiff opposition from the Postal Workers.
The aim and objective of Post Office Savings Bank was to garner the small savings of the lower strata of the society especially those located in small villages and hamlets of India. Begun in 1882, the PSOB must be considered as the pioneers in the Banking industry itself in the country. In free India, the funds collected through the Post Office savings Banks were of immense help for the developmental activities as no other institution could penetrate into the nooks and corners of the country as Post Offices could do. India Post has presently 154,965 offices spread over the breadth and length of the country. The reach and ambit of the Postal Department is stupendous and is the most effective vehicle to be in touch with the large majority of the people. The PSOB has presently about 30 crore customers and carry a deposit of more than 10 lakh crores. In the new environment, the Postal Department obtained the licence to operate a Payment Bank, which could not have been opposed per se but was perceived as a clever step towards the eventual privatisation. The India Post Payment bank was registered as a public limited company and is covered by the Banking regulations. The present proposal is to transfer the PSOB to the newly formed company hiving it off from the Postal Department. The proposal will not only make the Postal Department economically unviable and eligible for closure but the huge deposits could be made available for the Corporates to maximise profit. In all probabilities, in the near future, the IPPB would be listed in the stock exchange and would be available for grab by the private entrepreneurs. The leaders of the Postal JCA has made it clear that the strike on 10th August, 2022 is meant to provide a warning and they might embark upon an indefinite strike action if situation so warrants.
The post Sirimao Bhandaranayake regime of Sri Lanka embraced the neo liberal policies as early as in 1980s. The country is now struggling to come out of the debt trap The civil war and the subsequent pandemic situation has worsened the economy of Sri Lanka. But it was the commercial borrowing with shorter repayment schedule, to finance the dream projects that is said to be the root cause for the disaster. 47% of the Sri Lanka’s debt is reported to be commercial elicited through bonds with high rate of interest. It is the giant corporations of USA, Germany, Britain and Switzerland, which had contracted the bonds. Situation is no different even in an advanced capitalist country like Italy. The Prime Minister of Italy had to resign having failed to effect recovery. Italy is the third largest economy in Europe. All these point out to the dangers of those economies in pursuit of faster growth, through neo liberal policies. The inequality of income and wealth in all those Nations, which embraced the neo liberal policies has widened giving room for social tension.
Undoubtedly, we are travelling fast to the destination of a laissez faire economy, where the common people will be at the mercy of the rich corporate entities. It is only the militant struggles of the working class which can effectively apply a brake to the destruction of the sovereign state. Every single step in that direction is a welcome feature. The Postal workers demand the support and solidarity from the working class movement and especially the Central Government Employees. The struggle is not for any pecuniary benefit but for a sovereign India, an egalitarian India.
The National Sectt. of the Confederation calls upon all affiliates and State COCs to extend all help and assistance to the Postal Workers to ensure that the strike on 10th August 2022 is total with cent percent participation. All affiliates and COCs are requested to advise their units to organise demonstration in support of the striking workers of the Postal Department on 10th August, 2022 and send the following savingram to the Secretary, Communications, Government of India, Dak Bhawan, Patel Chowk, New Delhi 110 001.
Stop privatisation of the Postal Department and its functions.