Coal Strike – Loksatta Party statement

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015 @ 8:34PM

Coal strike exposes dangers of state monopoly. Indian state took on too many tasks & failed in essential functions, holding us back.Infrastructure, rule of law, service delivery, basic amenities, education & healthcare are all in shambles as state role is expanded.

Workers at a coal mine in Giridih district of Jharkhand on Tuesday.

Workers at a coal mine in Giridih district of Jharkhand on Tuesday. Image Courtesy: The Hindu

We must all raise our voice now so that coal strike does not degenerate into partisan political game. Workers vs nation is a bad deal.

Workers deserve a fair deal. Once their livelihoods are protected, they cannot insist on govt monopoly in any sector. People come first.

Economy & public good cannot be held to ransom by any group in a civilised society. Employees serve public purpose; govt is for all people.

Organised sector constitutes 8% of workers even now. Growth, job creation & bringing millions into organised sector must be our goals.

We already have 180MMT shortage of coal per year & power outages are crippling the economy. Status quo is not an option. Strike must end.

Disinvestment is for the people & parliament to decide. Workers can protect their rights; but cannot dictate public policy.

Govt is not owned by parties or employees; voters & tax-payers own it. Custodians of public assets have no right to mismanage them.

Public sector has become private sector of those in public office. Public or private is immaterial, it must serve the intended purpose.

As Deng Xiaoping said: it does not matter whether a cat is black or white as long as it catches mice! Our focus must be on outcomes.

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