Congress demands law against any retrenchment in private sector till August
Congress spokesperson Gaurav Vallabh also said the central government should bear 70 per cent of salary and wage bill of MSME sector for three months from March to May 2020
NEW DELHI: The Congress on Monday demanded that the central government bring in a law or rule to ensure there is no retrenchment of workers in the private sector for six months till August in the wake of lockdown due to coronavirus.
Congress spokesperson Gaurav Vallabh also said the central government should bear 70 per cent of salary and wage bill of MSME sector for three months from March to May 2020.
He said there are around 4.25 crore MSMEs in India as of 2019 and the contribution of the sector to GDP is 29 per cent, which is about Rs 61 lakh crore.
Assuming the wage bill of MSMEs to be 10 per cent of turnover one can consider Rs 6.1 lakh crore as the wage bill and it comes to around Rs 50,000 crore for one month.
He said 70 per cent of this is around Rs 1 lakh crore and assuming that approximately 45 crore are employed this works out to only Rs 2,200 per person employed.
Vallabh also demanded that truck drivers, which are the backbone of the economy, should be extended support at this crucial time.
"The government has to support these people by providing immediate driver advance to transporters by Direct Benefit transfer (DBT) to the extent of 3 months of their wages," he said.
The Congress leader said there are around 30 lakh truck drivers in our country and the total burden will be around Rs 25,000 crore.
This will also ensure a smooth supply chain, he said.
"The central government should come out with a law to ensure that there is no retrenchment in any sector or company whatsoever for next 6 months (March August, 2020)," he said.
He said 15 per cent of the workers are on the lower end of the corporate salary structure and the government should pay half their salaries.
"If the government pays half the salaries of such employees for the next six months, it requires only Rs 3.78 lakh crore, which is only about 1.5 per cent of the country's GDP.
"This is possible fiscally and this will ensure that no employee will suffer due to the lockdown or its effect on the economy," he said, adding that the Congress is making the suggestions as a constructive opposition.
He also said that the prime minister should apologise for the "insensitive" remarks of some of his ministers.
"If you have to apologise, do so to the migrant labour and daily wagers who are made to suffer.
"If you have to apologise do so for the actions of some of your ministers, who are cooking, playing 'Antakshari' or watching TV at home and making insensitive remarks," he said.