To

Smt Nirmala Sitharaman

Union Finance Minister

Dear Smt Sitharaman,

Your Ministry has already announced concessions/ procedural relaxations etc. for business enterprises and industries in the context of COVID19 crisis.

There are businesses who have violated the laws that provide social security to the workers. There have been instances of some enterprises guilty of non-payment of past wages, contributions to provident fund and other statutory benefits legitimately due to the workers. In my view, no bail-out assistance should be provided to such businesses unless the first charge on the financial package, if ny, is in favour of settling such dues in favour of the workers. It is equally necessary that those who have wantonly violated the labour laws are proceeded against urgently.

Many indian businesses are used to violating the other laws as a result of the laxity in administration at the Centre and in the States. When any relief is to be provided to them from the public exchequer, the benefits should not be allowed to go to such businesses.

For example, there are thousands of units that have brazenly violated the environment laws, caused pollution of the environment, adversely impacting the health of the people. Many pharma units are guilty of this. Such units should not be allowed to benefit from the bail-out packages as a deterrent meagre.

In this connection, I refer to the call given by the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres (https://m.dailyhunt.in/news/india/english/indiatvnews-epaper-intvnews/shut+polluting+industries+out+of+covid+19+bailout+funds+un+chief+guterres-newsid-181316564?ss=pd&s=a), which sums up the global concerns.

I hope that these suggestions are considered and necessary conditions will be stipulated in the series of bail-out measures your Ministry has been announcing from time to time.

Regards,

Yours sincerely,

E A S Sarma

Former Secretary to GOI

Visakhapatnam


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