LIC employees flay change of base year for CPI calculation

NZIEA Srinagar Division members during a meeting at Jammu on Thursday.
NZIEA Srinagar Division members during a meeting at Jammu on Thursday.

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Oct 29: A meeting of Divisional Committee of Northern Zone Insurance Employees’ Association (NZIEA) Srinagar Division, representing LIC employees of J&K was held here today under the chairmanship of Dinesh Kumar Sharma, Association Vice President.
Speaking in the meeting Association Divisional Secretary, Pawan Gupta said Union Ministry of Labour and Employment has recently changed the base year for calculating Consumer Price Index (CPI) of industrial workers from the year 2001 to 2016.
He further said that justifying the change, the Government has said that this was done to reflect the changing consumption pattern of workers.
“The Government also claims that this was done in the interest of the workers and the Government tried to present the change as a routine matter just as the base years were changed in the past from 1944 to 1949; 1949 to 1960; 1960 to 1982 and 1982 to 2001,” Pawan Gupta said.
The Association members said this is one more attack by the Government on the lives and livelihoods of workers.
“The announcement of the Government to change the base year is arbitrary, undemocratic and against the interest of workers. This is simply intended to suppress the real impact of price rise (inflation) and deny any legitimate increase in dearness allowance to the workers,” they maintained.
More Association members claimed that relative weight given to different consumption baskets for determining the index has been changed deceitfully as the weight assigned to food items has been reduced from 46.2 per cent to 39 per cent which is clearly seven per cent reduction done at a time when food inflation is particularly high.
Speakers in the meeting said that common sense tells us that giving less weight to an item that costs more would only keep the index down.
They said under new series, the Government also declared the linking factor for conversion of the new series to old series as 2.88.
Romesh Chand and Rajesh Gupta, Association Joint Secretaries; Raj Kumar Sharma, Treasurer; Rajesh Kumar, Auditor; Raj Kumar, Office Secretary and others were also present in the meeting.