It refers to yet other reformative step by Union Cabinet in clearing Constitutional Amendment Bill on Goods & Service Tax (GST) aimed not only to raise revenue and boost growth, but also for ensuring uniform and same price-structure for various commodities for consumers throughout the country. It is grossly unfair that consumers in different states have to pay prices with wide gap due to different rates of state and local taxes. However tax-reform should have been in one go where cleared Bill presently defers commodities like petrol and liquor to be brought under uniform pricing at a later stage. There has been a huge price-difference in petrol-prices in different states because of difference in tax-rates imposed by states. People in Delhi find it economical to procure Diesel from bordering Haryana because local-tax on diesel is less in Haryana than at Delhi.
India has federal structure with states usually expressing fear of the Centre intervening in their domain. But with Union Finance Minister approving release of rupees 11000 crore as compensation for loss on account of Central Sales Tax having in pendency since the year 2010, and assuring of fair distribution of tax between Centre and states after implementation of GST, states should cooperate for earliest clearing of GST Bill in larger interest of consumers across the country.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal, Delhi
Let there be a Clamour
The movement of the students of Jadavpur University, Kolkata, which spread throughout West Bengal under the title Hok Kolorob (Let there be a clamour), has now realized its principal demand. The Vice-Chancellor has resigned, thus recognizing that the demand for his removal was justified. What is intriguing, however, is that the resignation was first tendered to the Chief Minister, not to the Chancellor. The Chief Minister herself announced the event of this resignation. This is an open and blatant recognition of the fact that Mr Chakravarty was appointed to his post by virtue of his being a TMC-loyalist. The Trinamul Congress and its supremo, Mamata Banerjee, have proved that regarding political appointments in educational institutions, they have far surpassed their predecessor.
There is another side to the story. The students' movement for the resignation of the Vice Chancellor was given the ill-merited stigma of a drunkards' and drug-addicts' movement. An important TMC leader, who is incidentally the nephew of the Chief Minister, gave such a title to the movement, and an economist of repute, evidently a TMC loyalist, wrote in the Times of India that Jadavpur University had become a 'hotbed' of drug addicts. The Vice Chancellor's resignation and Mamata Banerjee's acceptance of it has given the lie to this stigma, and has exposed the TMC leader, the venerable economist and the likes of them as dishonest scandal-mongers, who do not have the courage to say that there is little point in yielding to the drug-addicts. This should cause some heart burning in them, provided, of course, they have some residue of self-respect.
A Reader, Kolkata
On 7th January a rally was organized under the banner of Dilli Ispat Udyog Mazdoor Union (DIUMU) in Wazirpur industrial area to commemorate the victory of the workers in getting their union registered. Workers from all sectors of the steel industry in Wazirpur Industrial area participated in the Rally called 'Mazdoor Hunkar Rally' with great enthusiasm and urged their fellow workers to get united in the fight for their cause. After the rally a meeting was conducted at Raja Park in Wazirpur industrial area, where all the workers and their families gathered in large numbers to celebrate their victory. A community kitchen was also organized by the workers. The Committee members of DIUMU (President), Baburam (General Secretary), Shivani (Legal advisor), Sunny ,Firoz, Santosh, Maniram and Shivkumar addressed the gathering. Representatives from Karawal Nagar Mazdoor Union, Auto Sangharsh Samiti, Naujawan Bharat Sabha also participated in the meeting in solidarity with the workers. Members of Vihaan Cultural team presented revolutionary songs. Union identity cards were dispatched to the already registered members of the union and more than 300 new memberships were given on the same day.
Despite all the attempts by the factory owners and company unions to prevent the union from getting registered "Dilli Ispaat Udyog Mazdoor Union" is now a registered entity as per law. This registration was the result of unity of the workers of steel line.
Today workers of hot rolling, cold rolling, polishing, rickshaw etc are members of the union and the membership is still increasing. The registration of the union will strengthen the fight for justice for the workers, it will aid the workers in their legal battle . The workers will be saved from falling into the traps of treacherous reformist unions whose only motto is to extract levy from the workers.
Vol. 47, No. 30, Feb 1 - 7, 2015