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Home > Business > PTI > Report

Agriculture, employment high on CMP

May 21, 2004 21:20 IST

The draft Common Minimum Programme on Friday accorded high priority to agriculture, employment-oriented growth, stepping up of investment in the rural sector while saying no to privatisation of crucial oil and power PSUs and "hire and fire" policy.

The draft circulated to all allies in the United Progressive Alliance, ahead of the likely swearing-in of the new Congress-led government, reflected the statement made by Prime Minister-designate Manmohan Singh on Thursday.

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Top CPM and CPI leaders said the draft CMP was "generally acceptable".

Seeking to revert the jobless growth witnessed during the NDA regime, the draft said "UPA government is firmly committed to ensure the welfare and well being of all workers, particularly those in the unorganised sector who constitute 93 per cent of our work force.

"UPA rejects the idea of automatic hire and fire. It recognises that some flexibility has to be provided including in the matter of labour policy, but such flexibility must ensure workers and their families are fully protected," it said.

The 16-page draft proposed a dialogue with the industry and trade unions for the labour policy with specific proposals while emphasising on social security, health insurance and other schemes for the benefit of the unorganised sector workers like weavers and handloom workers.

On the contentious issue of privatisation, the draft said, "The UPA government will retain Oil and Natural Gas Corp, Indian Oil Corp, Hindustan Petroleum Corp, Bharat Petroleum Corp, Gas Authority of India, NTPC, SAIL and BHEL in the public sector."

Chronically loss-making companies would either be sold off or closed after all workers get legitimate dues and compensation, the draft CMP said.

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