By Manjeet Singh Patel, National Media Secretary, National Movement for Old Pension Scheme (NMOPS), President, All India NPS Employees Association.
More tax could be collected through reckless privatization for the country, but we will create a new section of working class which may have jobs but will not have any means to raise its standard of living and a new poverty line will be created in India under which the 70% of the population will be getting trampled upon.
Government is moving towards privatization in order to collect maximum revenue and it is putting forward two rationales for it –
First that the workers are not discharging their duties properly and are submerged in corruption, hence the government feels that by privatization the corruption will be countered. Also the employees will become more skillful.
Second is that the government has to spend a lot on the salaries of workers in the public sector and hence there is shortage of funds to implement the schemes for the deprived and these schemes fail. This is also slowing down the rate of development of the country. The government thinks that privatization is a quick fix for these problems and in a few years India will become like Singapore.
Even if we accept that a few workers do not discharge their duties with honesty still the cause of the failure of the system is the high command and not the lower rung employees. When the leader of a department is corrupt, the corruption percolates to the lower rungs, too. It’s clear that if the collector is honest then a peon in a faraway village cannot get away with corruption. If the principal is honest all the teachers will work properly. If the inspector is honest all the constables will do their duties honestly. The fear of losing their job makes them honest.
Everyone knows the truth that to earn big money the ruling party appoints its people at 90% of posts from where money can be earned.
And the blame is put on regular low-level employees that their demand keep increasing each day and corruption is curbing the progress of the nation.
Privatization in itself is an incurable disease. In India for last fifty years private as well as government educational, health, electricity institutions exist.
If we take the example of a hospital, in a government hospital in any part of the country the doctor, nurse, technician or a cleaner get salary at the same scale. But in private hospitals there is no system of pay scale to anyone. If one private hospital pays a nurse Rs. 8000, the other may pay Rs 12000. If a cleaner gets Rs. 5000 in a private hospital he may get only 4000 in other private hospital which is in the vicinity. The point is that private institutions will not provide same pay scale to all employees and the hours of working will also differ. In the coming years the lakhs of workers working in public sector currently will move to private sector. When these workers will not get a living wage then corruption and exploitation will increase, and lakhs of families will face acute problems. The HDI index of India is already bad; privatization will make it worse. We will see even more people than we see today who will be employed but will struggle to make their ends meet.
The 135 Crores population of our country need more employment opportunities today but privatization will increase unemployment. The reservation for the deprived sections of the society in government institutions provide avenues of employment; privatization will destroy these avenues too. This will curb the development of the deprived sections of society and unemployment will further increase.
More tax could be collected through reckless privatization for the country, but we will create a new section of working class which may have jobs but will not have any means to raise its standard of living and a new poverty line will be created in India under which the 70% of the population will be getting trampled upon. So are we really working towards this goal of a country which looks soid from the outside but is hollow from the inside?