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Opposition MPs ask Puri to withdraw AI’s leave without pay scheme

Congress Lok Sabha MP Manish Tewari said in a letter to Puri, “The new compulsory leave scheme is a shocking aberration and reeks of a use and throw policy by the airline, at a time when we as a nation should be celebrating our Covid heroes.”

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Hardeep Puri

New Delhi, July 16 : National carrier Air Indias move to cut employee strength through a new scheme before its sale is snowballing into a major political controversy as MPs from the CPI and the Congress have written to Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, seeking withdrawal of Air Indias new policy on sending employees on ‘leave without pay for up to five years.

Binoy Viswam, Rajya Sabha MP and Leader of CPI Parliamentary Party, in a letter to Puri said that the salary for the roughly 20,000 employees of Air India for the month of June 2020 has still not been disbursed.

“As you can imagine, this non-payment of salary is causing great strife in the lives of the employees and requires immediate redressal,” he said.

Further, a notification has been issued which states that employees can be sent on leave without pay for a duration of 6 months to 2 years, with the possibility of extending it to up to 5 years.

“It is appalling that such policy decisions are being made by Air India without the slightest care for the wellbeing and lives of its employees. In the name of efficiency, draconian labour practices are being promulgated by Air India and it is completely unacceptable,” Viswam said.

The CPI MP has sought the release of salaries and withdrawal of the leave without pay policy.

“I therefore, urge you to use the power of your office to ensure that the salaries for all employees across Air India and all its subsidiaries, including Alliance Air, are paid immediately. The decision of Air India to introduce this policy of leave without pay must be immediately withdrawn. A pro-active step on your part will bring immense relief to these employees and their families,” he said.

Congress Lok Sabha MP Manish Tewari said in a letter to Puri, “The new compulsory leave scheme is a shocking aberration and reeks of a use and throw policy by the airline, at a time when we as a nation should be celebrating our Covid heroes.”

“The compulsory leave scheme as I have understood from the circular is an arbitrary unbridled use of power and discretion and borders on unconstitutional use of discretionary powers,” he said.

“This kind of compulsory leave scheme, which is actually retrenchment by another name, has been unheard of in any PSU in Independent India,” Tewari added.

The Congress leader said that instead of restructuring Air India’s top heavy management, the government is hell bent on removing employees. Tewari said while the Prime Minister has asked all employers to take care of the employees during the Covid crisis, “his own Civil Aviation Ministry does not seem to be paying heed to him”.

India

“PM Needs To Understand…”: Rahul Gandhi On Recession

The centre is expecting the recent easing of farm and labour laws, along with tax incentives, to bolster manufacturing and lure more foreign investment.

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Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi: Congress MP Rahul Gandhi today took a swipe at the government over reports that the economy has gone into a recession and crores have been left unemployed. He pointed to the basic job scheme MGNREGA, which was launched by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government, as having made to remain idle with “three crore people still looking for work”.

“Under PM Modi, India’s economy is officially in a recession for the first time ever. More importantly, 3 crore people are still looking for work under MNREGA. Economy cannot be ordered to grow by diktats. PM needs to first understand this basic idea,” Mr Gandhi tweeted, in what was seen as an allusion to PM Modi’s often overnight announcements that result in sweeping policy changes immediately.

Under PM Modi, India’s economy is officially in a recession for the first time ever.

More importantly, 3 crore people are still looking for work under MNREGA.

Economy cannot be ordered to grow by diktats. PM needs to first understand this basic idea.

— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) November 27, 2020
From sudden demonetisation in November 2016 to the announcement of the lockdown in late March necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic, which led to hardships, opposition leaders have been attacking PM Modi over decisions that they say were taken without considering their impact on a vast number of the population.

The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) also shrank for the second straight quarter through September, although it showed signs of a pick-up after the easing of pandemic restrictions that triggered a record contraction in the previous quarter.

The GDP in July-September quarter contracted 7.5 per cent on year, data released by the National Statistical Office today showed, compared to a decline of 23.9 per cent in the previous three months.

Annual growth of 3.4 per cent in farm sector and 0.6 per cent in manufacturing during September quarter raised hopes of an early recovery as the government gears up to distribute COVID-19 vaccine whenever it becomes available.

The centre is expecting the recent easing of farm and labour laws, along with tax incentives, to bolster manufacturing and lure more foreign investment.

India is not alone in suffering from economic troubles because of the pandemic. Several other nations have seen their economy shrink as manufacturing slows down.

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India

Ahmedbhai had no personal ambition, only interest was Congress: CWC

The CWC also passed a resolution condoling the death of veteran leader and three-time Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi who also succumbed to Covid.

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Ahmed Patel

New Delhi: The Congress Working Committee on Friday met and offered condolences to the family of veteran leader and Treasurer Ahmed Patel who passed away on November 25 due to Covid-related complications.

The CWC, in its resolution, said that “Ahmedbhai had no personal ambition. The interest of the Congress was his only interest and the advancement of the Congress agenda was his only agenda. He was deeply religious but secular to the core. Ahmedbhai’s simplicity, austerity, accessibility and generosity were legendary.

Recognising his contributions over four decades to the party, it stressed on “his unique capacity to reconcile competing aspirations and forge unity and comradeship among the leaders and its members”.

Patel passed away at the Medanta hospital in Gurugram on Wednesday morning. Amid thousands of well wishers, his mortal remains were laid to rest on Thursday in his ancestral village in Gujarat’s Bharuch district, with many top party leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, present to pay their last respects.

The last rites were carried out at the Sunni Vohra Muslim Jamaat graveyard in Piraman village. As per his wish, his body was buried beside his parents’ graves and all Covid-19 guidelines and protocols were followed during the funeral.

The CWC also passed a resolution condoling the death of veteran leader and three-time Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi who also succumbed to Covid.

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Delhi Riots: Jamia student released on parole to sit for exams

The court said that clearing the exams is necessary for Tanha to pursue M.A. in Persian, and that leniency must be shown to the accused by allowing him to appear for the said exams.

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Asif Iqbal Tanha

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Friday released Jamia Millia Islamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha — who was arrested under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for allegedly hatching a conspiracy to organise riots in North-East Delhi in February this year — on three-day custody parole to appear for his compartmental examination in December.

Tanha, who is pursuing his B.A. (Hons) in Persian, had moved the court seeking interim bail from November 30 to December 7 to prepare for three backlog exams scheduled to be held on December 4, 5 and 7.

“The court deems it fit to allow the accused on custody parole for appearing in the said examinations. Accordingly, custody parole is granted to accused Asif Iqbal Tanha on December 4, 5 and 7,” Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat ordered.

The court said that clearing the exams is necessary for Tanha to pursue M.A. in Persian, and that leniency must be shown to the accused by allowing him to appear for the said exams.

After advocate Sowjhanya Shankaran, representing Tanha, submitted that her client didn’t not have the required reading material to prepare for the exams, the judge directed the Tihar Jail superintendent to provide necessary assistance, provided it is within the permissibility of the jail rules.

Tanha was arrested on May 19 in connection with the case and has been in the custody since then. On October 21, he was granted one-day interim bail for taking the entrance examination for M.A Persian at the Jamia Milia Islamia University.

In September, his named figured in the chargesheet filed by the Delhi Police in connection with the riots that broke out in North-East Delhi in February after clashes between pro and anti-Citizenship Amendment Act supporters spiralled out of control, leaving 53 people dead and 748 injured.

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