Data provided by iNet BFA
Loading...
See More

India braces for nationwide strike

Feb 20 2013 08:35 AFP

Related Articles

India to sell 10% oil stake to cut deficit

India aims to stop welfare fraud

India unveils more reforms

Inflation blow to India rate cut hopes

Backlash after India hikes fuel prices

Indian govt to vote on supermarket reform

 

New Delhi - Millions of Indian workers were expected to join a two-day nationwide strike starting on Wednesday in protest against "anti-labour" economic reforms introduced by the embattled Congress government.

Premier Manmohan Singh has appealed to unions to abandon the strike, the latest in a string of protests against liberalisation, warning it would cause a "loss to our economy" already poised for its slowest annual growth in a decade.

A one-day strike against reforms last September cost Asia's third-largest economy $2.3bn in lost output and trade, according to the Confederation of Indian Industry.

But talks following Singh's appeal this week collapsed after the government refused to bow to union demands to roll back reforms, which are aimed at jumpstarting the economy and averting a downgrade in India's credit rating.

"The workers are being totally ignored and this is reflected in the government's anti-labour policies," said Tapan Sen, general secretary of the umbrella Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU).

The 11 unions behind the strike plan to block rail and road traffic, and said operations of state-run banks would be disrupted.

The government's "big ticket" reforms include opening retail, insurance and aviation sectors to wider foreign investment, hiking prices of subsidised diesel used by farmers and reducing the number of discounted cooking gas cylinders.

The steps aimed at freeing up the still heavily state-controlled economy and lowering India's ballooning subsidy bill and fiscal deficit have stirred wide public anger, especially among the poor.

"The last time that we called a strike (in February 2012), nearly 100 million workers participated. This time we're expecting a bigger number," Sen said.

The protest was expected to have maximum impact in eastern West Bengal, where unions enjoy significant clout. The walkout could also have a big effect in southern Kerala state where strikes are common.

It might be business as usual however in financial hub Mumbai, where some unions said they would not protest.

An overtly patchwork response indicating a lessening of union influence would be welcome news for the government, which has been buffeted by graft scandals, the weakening economy and stubbornly high inflation, analysts said.


Follow Fin24 on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.

india  |  strikes
NEXT ON FIN24X

 
 
 

Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:

Small Business

A cash flow crunch often occurs in small businesses trying to balance cash coming in with cash going out. Watch this video to help you improve.
 
 

Savings survey not realistic

Fin24 readers respond to an in-house survey, which found that 60% of readers were confident that they would be financially comfortable in their retirement.

 
 

Start saving...

Time the key for retirement saving
Dummy's guide to saving
Save money with affordable account
All about endowments

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...
Loading...