New Delhi: Ten major trade unions of the country in a letter to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have threatened to boycott their pre-budget meeting scheduled for November 28, protesting lack of proper time to put forward their demands.
In a letter to the finance minister signed by 10 Central Trade unions like AITU, CITU, HMS, LPF and AIUTUC among others, they have termed the time slot of three minutes allotted for each union to forth their budget demands as a "cheap joke".
Threatening to boycott the meeting, the unions have sought reconsideration of time allotment for effective consultations.
The unions have also opposed holding the meeting through video conferencing and sought a physical meeting with the finance minister.
"Now your email dated 25.11.2022 under reference, makes it explicit that each Central Trade Union will be allowed to speak for three minutes. This is a joke and we refuse to be part of such a cheap joke. We will not participate in the proposed video conference on 28.11.2022," the letter said.
"We urge upon you to seriously reconsider time-allotment for effective consultations. And in the alternative, we reiterate our invitation to you to an open public debate regarding these policies, without any time restriction on you to defend the policies that you have been following. We look forward to your agreeing to such a debate," the letter further said.
Sitharaman has been holding pre-budget consultations with various sectors since November 21.
The union budget for 2023-24 is expected to be presented on February 1, 2023.