Friday, March 7, 2014

               Once again our country is going for a general election.  India is the biggest democratic country in the world and general election is an opportunity to every citizen to express their opinion about the future Government and also future of our country.
               We, the Central Government employees including Postal employees are well aware of the fact that future of the Central Government Employees and various Central Government departments depends upon the policy of the Central Government.  As we are working directly under the Central Government, the policies are first experimented on us.  Upto 1991, the policy of the Government was to strengthen and expand the Central services and Public sector.  Based on this policy more and more offices were opened and employees are recruited and appointed to fill up vacant posts and also newly created posts.  The total number of Central Government employees went upto 40 lakhs.
               From 1991 onwards, the policy of the Government changed and started implementing the neo-liberal globalisation policies.  Ban on filling up of vacant posts and creation of new posts was imposed.  The process of converting Government departments into corporation started with the hidden agenda of ultimate privatization.  Attack came on the Telecom department first, and it is converted into three Corporations.   Expenditure reforms committee under the former Finance Secretary Geetha Krishnan was constituted and it recommended sweeping changes in all Central Government departments in tune with the liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation (LPG) policies of the Government.  Government started large scale outsourcing of the Government functions and many small departments were closed and many are in the verge of closure.  Downsizing has reached its peak and thousands of posts are abolished.  Casual and Contract worker employment has become the order of the day and in some departments the number of casual/contract workers exceeded the number of regular employees.
               When the NDA government came to power defeating the Congress government, employees were under the impression that the above policies of earlier government will be changed.  But to their dismay, the new government also persued the same policies.  A separate portfolio for disinvestment was created and a Cabinet Minister is appointed as incharge of the Disinvestment Ministry.  Downsizing, outsourcing, contractorisation and privatisation continued unabated.  Attack on the Central Government departments and employees continued.  Finally New Pension Scheme called Contributory Pension Scheme was also introduced. 
               UPA Government led by Congress which again came to power continued the same policy more vigourously.  The Pension Privatisation bill called PFRDA Bill was introduced in the Parliament with the help of main opposition party, BJP and again when the bill was passed both the NDA and UPA voted in favour of the bill.  Only left parties opposed the bill.  Regarding the main demands of the Central Government employees also the attitude of both the Governments was negative.  Only due to the continuous struggle conducted by Confederation and NFPE some improvements could be achieved.  In Postal, entire employees went on 14 days strike in 2000 but the then NDA Government constituted a cabinet committee of group of ministers under the then Home Minister and rejected all the demands.  Now also the UPA government rejected all our main demands. 
               Both the governments tried to privatise postal sector by amending Indian Post Office Act for granting licence to private courier services.  The move to close down 9797 post offices and 300 RMS offices were defeated only because of the united resistance of the Postal employees.  The attitude of both the Government towards departmentalisation of Gramin Dak Sevak was totally negative.  Even after the pronouncement of Supreme Court that GDS are Civil Servants the government is not ready to grant Civil Servant status to GDS. 
          From the above we can understand that future of the Central Government employees including Postal employees depends upon the policies of the Government.  Without changing the policy, we cannot except any positive action from Government.  Hence the coming general election is very crucial to us.  From our past experience we should recognise our friends and foes.  We have to defeat the anti -people, anti-worker neo liberal policies at any cost.   NFPE calls upon the entire Postal employees to vote out the Neo Liberal Globalisation Policies and to vote for an alternative pro-people, pro-working class policies.