Need for guidelines on salaries,wages, working hours etc.


In the last little over 20 years, the governments both at the centre and states have increased the salaries of their employees so much that private sector employers are unable to pay even 50% of government salaries. The result is that highly educated candidates with degrees like M.E., M.Phil are sitting for competitive exams for the posts of Village Administrative Officers, Constables, Junior Assistants etc. for which the minimum qualification required is pass in 10th/12th Class.  This means that these candidates have wasted their time and money. Each vacancy in government service attracts, 200-300  candidates.

Again for equal  work, pay is unequal between govt and private sectors. For example elementary school teacher is paid around Rs.25000/- per month in the government schools while in private schools, they are paid around Rs.5000-6000/ p.m. and the private schools are unable to pay more. To more or less equalise the salaries in government/private schools, govt. should freeze the salaries in govt.sector and allow private sector to increase the tuition fee on the condition that they should pay higher salaries. Some sort of subsidy could also be considered.if it is considered not desirable to increase tuition fees.

There is also vast difference in the salaries in the organized sector and unorganized sector in private industry and business establishments. This also needs to be minimised.

The governments should therefore issue guidelines (not enforceable orders) to the private sector on salaries. For example. governments, taking into considerations its own level of salaries may suggest salaries of persons with +2 qualifications as Rs.15000, degree holders as Rs.20000/,  ITI qualification as Rs.16000, diploma holders as Rs.18000 etc. Employers should of course be free to pay more or slightly less.





7th Pay Commission recommended salaries should be revised downwards


At present government school teachers are drawing in many cases 2-3 times that of well paid private school teachers. One often hears of private Engineering College Lecturers getting  salaries of less than Rs.15000/-..Similarly government typists and clerks are drawing very high salaries compared to their counterparts in the private companies and offices.Even highly qualified Engineers in private sector draw in many cases less than govt employed Clerks, Typists, teachers etc. Private sector is unable to pay higher salaries because they do not have sufficient money. They can increase salaries of their employees to the level of govt sector only if they increase the prices of their products. If the prices are increased, products cannot be sold. A farmer who works whole time on his own 3 acres of land does not earn Rs.200000 a  year, which a government’s lowest paid employee already earns. A Provision shop owner who works in rural areas from 6 am in the morning till 8 pm in the night does not earn a net mount of Rs.200000 a year. Thus it is clear that government employees are already getting much more than their counterparts in the private sector and hence there is need to revise the 7th Pay Commission recommended salaries down wards

Of course at the top level private sector employees  earn as much as and in many cases much more than their level employees in the government.

Sale of shares to public- strike by employees of NLC


Government of India, the owners of the Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC), holding over 90% of the shares of the company have decided to sell 5% of the shares to the public, to comply with the guidelines of Securities and Exchange Board of India(SEBI). Thereafter at the request of the Tamilnadu Govt. central govt have agreed to sell the shares to an undertaking of Tamilnadu govt. The employees of NLC have gone on an indefinite strike demanding the owners not to sell the shares.

The question now is whether the employees have or can be given the right to force the owners to do what they want when the matter does not relate to their working conditions or salaries etc. It is not for the employees to talk of the pros and cons of the actions of the management. Their only concern should be their working conditions, salaries etc. Of course political parties and the public have right to organize agitations etc. against government move. Employees as part of the public can join these agitations but should not be allowed to continue the strike

Private participation in Railways


Most of the Railway Ministers of India earned the admiration of the commuters and the general public for not raising the fares ,in spite of mounting expenses of the organization on salaries, fuels raw materials, components, replacements etc. The organization was allowed to stand still. The route length of Indian Railways increased in more than 60 years since independence only by a few thousand kilometres from about 54000 km to about 64000 km. Most of the Railway Ministers were/are unable to not resist the temptation to become popular among the people. They do not mind criticism from negligible number of people who talk of generating funds for expansion, enhancing the quality of services, amenities etc.

If Railways is to expand to its potential the only way seems to be to enlist private participation. As in the case of Roadways, private sector can be allowed to construct new lines or additional tracks and collect toll charges from trains as in the case of roadways

As in roadways private operators may be allowed to run trains

Railways already has large tracts of land and hence there may not be need for large scale land acquisition.

The target should be to increase the route length to about 125000Km from present 64000km. (i.e. to double route length).Within a period of about 10 years people should be able to board the train and travel without advance plan.

Profits, salaries,wages,prices,money,physical strength


There seems to be wrong notions about wages, prices, investment, development and related issues among the people,political parties, intelligentsia etc.

Some of the wrong/irrational notions are:

i. that if profit is substantial companies’ management can enhance the salaries of top executives exorbitantly rather than think of reducing the prices of products/services in the coming years.( The government should consider imposing a limit on salaries/perquisites of top executives as in the past)

ii. that if there is profit, the companies should share it with employees by giving bonus to them rather than reduce the prices in the coming years or invest the money to produce and employ more

iii.that there should be universal which means additional employment but there should not be inflation

iv.that procurement prices of cereals,milk, eggs etc.should be increased but consumer prices should remain unchanged.

v.that wages of agricultural labourers should keep increasing but prices of vegetables and fruits should not go up

vi.that workers should not be asked to improve productivity but prices of manufactured goods should come down

vii.that wages of workers,drivers,cleaners, engineers,mechanics, office staff etc. should be increased periodically but the train and bus fares, electricity charges,cleaning charges, etc should not be increased

viii.that charges for any service should not be increased but the quality of service should be enhanced.

ix. that people should have more entertainment, comforts, luxuries etc. but need not put in additional labour.
(People do not think that while money not spent on any occasion can be saved and spent on other occasions but physical strength can not be saved for using on some other occasion. It is therefore necessary that one should work as long as possible when the opportunity comes.)

religious,social leaders,writers etc. talk of virtues of people with money giving charity to poor people,but nobody talks of people who are physically strong and healthy, helping physically weak people.

people talk of short duration of prosperity but they do not talk of shorter duration of physical strength.

money not spent can be invested for development, for creating jobs etc. while physical strength not used, for doing work cannot be put to any other use.

Bharat Bandh uncalled for


Increase in diesel, petrol, cooking gas prices should lead only to a marginal or negligible increase in overall prices as:

a) The price of diesel was increased by Rs.2 per litre i.e. by around 6%. The cost of diesel in the truck freight charges is only about 40-50%, the balance being the cost of driver, cleaner, depreciation and profit margin. Thus the freight charges should increase only by about 2.4% – 3%.

 b)transport charges in the retail cost of any product is only 5- 10%, the major components being cost of raw materials, interest rates, depreciation, profit margin, wages & salaries, tax, advertisement charges etc. Thus the fuel price increase should lead to general price rise of just 0.12 to 0.30% i.e. if the retail price of a product was Rs.100, it should cost now only Rs.100.12- Rs.100.30 i.e just 12 -30 paise more, which is definitely negligible.

c)In the case of  auto rickshaws, one litre of petrol gives about 25 kilometers for which the charges are around Rs.150. After price increase it could go up to only Rs.152 or just 1.67%.

 d)in the case of private use of motorcycles, assuming an average consumption of 10 litres (traveling about 800 to 1000 km) per month by a person with an income of Rs.20000 per month, his expenses on petrol will go up by just Rs.35 only i.e less than 0.2% of his income which again is negligible.

 e) cooking gas price has gone up by 10% but average consumption in a  family per month is just 1 cylinder or increase in expenses is only Rs.35 or less than 0.2% of the monthly income.

 f) overall additional expenses for a middle class family shall not be even 1% and this every one can easily absorb

 g) the interest rates had drastically come down recently(by about 4 percentage points) as a measure of reversing the economic slow down. Truck owners, auto rickshaw owners, and manufacturers who usually get finance from banks save a substantial amount on this account. They can easily afford to absorb the additional expenses due to fuel price increase, in stead of passing on the same to the customer. Even if they pass on the additional cost to consumer, consumer’s burden is negligible.

 h) the common man, who works under employment guarantee scheme got an increase of 25% in wages, from Rs.80 to Rs.100 three months ago. So he should not have any problem in meeting less than 1% increase in cost of living.

 i)the increase in salaries of central and several state government and public sector undertaking employees on account of 6th  Pay Commission as also income tax liberalization will enable employees to bear the additional expenses without any difficulty.

 In view of the above, it appears that Bharat Bandh is uncalled for. At the same time the government should restrain truck owners from increasing their charges/prices on the pretext of fuel price increase, beyond 3%, auto rickshaw owners and taxi owners beyond 2%, and manufacturers beyond 1%.