Monday, 30th October 2017

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Industry plea on social security

Amit Mitra held a pre-budget meeting with functionaries of 19 organisations at Nabanna

  • Published 15.01.20, 1:31 AM
  • Updated 15.01.20, 1:31 AM
  • a min read
Amit Mitra Telegraph picture

Some prominent commerce bodies in Bengal have proposed that the government support the employees of small and medium industries by bringing them under the state’s social security schemes for the unorganised sector, industry and finance minister Amit Mitra said.

Mitra held a pre-budget meeting with functionaries of 19 organisations representing business and industry at Nabanna on Tuesday.

“The (business) associations have proposed to join hands with the government so that schemes can be extended (to their units) and more people brought under them.

Such proposals usually don’t come up during pre-budget discussions. It was clear that the industrial firms were facing a tough time because of high inflation and low GDP rate,” the minister told journalists.

Sources present at the meeting said instead of demanding tax relief, the businessmen urged the minister to consider the possibility of bringing their workers under various schemes such as

skill development and industrial training that the government runs for unemployed youths.

“We are facing difficult times because of central government policies. We are trying to cut costs and want help from the state government,” said a source.

Mitra explained the context behind the change in the nature of demands in the run-up to the budget.

“They (trade bodies) are aware that the state could not help by slashing tax rates after the GST was introduced. Perhaps that is why we are receiving requests for supportive assistance. I can say I heard all the issues, but I can’t promise anything right at this moment,” he said.

According to Mitra, the trade bodies have begun working with the government to register workers under a social security scheme for the unorganised sector that ensures pension for them after 60 and financial support for their children’s education.

“The Bankura Chamber of Commerce has already registered 1.5 lakh workers for the scheme. More chambers have come forward to bring workers under the scheme,” said Mitra.

The chambers have also urged Mitra to extend support once they identify the training needs of their sectors.

“If the government imparts training based on the inputs from the chambers, it will help in creating jobs and industry will also get trained employees,” a source said.