Main points of the speech of Shri Vijender Dhariwal, National Organising Secretary, National Movement for Old Pension Scheme (NMOPS) at the meeting of the All India Forum Against Privatisation on 3 October 2021
In 2004 the old pension scheme (OPS) was stopped. Whoever has joined after 2004, they all have been brought under the new pension scheme (NPS). Privatisation would create a serious problem for the continued pension for the retired employees. Private companies do not want to carry such a burden.
When we started the agitation in 2017-18, we had to go amongst the aam adami. We have to now tell our membership that privatisation will be impacting us first and also the consumers.
If I talk about the education sector, it is connected with the aam adami. The government has been slowly but surely privatising the education sector. A welfare state should take the responsibility of ensuring good education and health of people but the government has started talking about budget for these as a burden. There are no teachers and school buildings in many places. Private schools being opened are only doing business of education yet they are being promoted. Most big institutes are either owned by big capitalists or big political leaders whose only motive is profit. To help private players, propaganda has been unleashed that in the public education system the quality of education is not good and to ensure this the public education system is deliberately being weakened.
The government desires to hand over the maximum number of enterprises to private monopolies and it is hence necessary to keep people uneducated so that they will not be able to think and oppose privatisation. We have to fight two battles; one is for ensuring social security to all retiring employees of all sectors and the second battle is against privatisation. I urge you to work amongst people and build their support by informing them about the ill effects of privatisation and clearing their misunderstanding about public sector which has been deliberately nurtured by the government propaganda.