NO FURTHER INCREASE IN REMUNERATION 
Not even half of adequate allocation necessary for the increase announced in September 2018 
Anganwadi workers and helpers of India will organise protest in Delhi on 25 February 2019
 
In the interim budget 2019-20, BJP government has again cheated the 26 lakh anganwadi workers and helpers. The budget has neglected not only the long pending demands of the anganwadi workers and helpers but also has neglected the crucial question of malnutrition in the country.
 
The Prime Minister had declared increase in remuneration of anganwadi workers, mini workers and helpers on 11 September 2018. He also declared that it will be implemented from 1 October 2018 and the workers will get it before Deepavali. But till date the anganwadi workers and helpers in most of the states are yet to receive it. In the budget speech the Interim Finance Minister has mentioned the increase in remuneration of anganwadi and ASHA workers declared by the Prime Minister in September, in such a way to create an impression that there is further increase in remuneration of anganwadi employees.
 
But the budget figures reveal that the budget allocation is not even adequate to implement the increase announced by the Government in September 2018. The PIB release on 11 September 2018 says that the additional budgetary allocation necessary for the increase for a period from 1.10.2018 to 31.3.2020 is Rs.10,649.41crores. Sixty percent of this amount which is required for the increased remuneration for an year will be Rs.4259 crores. But the budget allocation for ‘Anganwadi Services’ in the budget for Umbrella ICDS for the year 2019-20 is only Rs.19, 834.37 crores, an increase only by Rs.1944.18crores from the last years revised budget of Rs.Rs.17,870.19cr. This is not even half of what is required to implement the increase.
 
The budget does not mention anything about the pension for the anganwadi employees which the government has been promising since 2014. The irony is that the Government of India stated in September 2017 that it is going to spent Rs.12,000cr (PIB release dated 20 September 2017 ) for the increased allocation for the supplementary nutrition in the anganwadi centres. This means an additional Rs.6000cr per year for nutrition. But neither the budget last year nor this year includes this allocation. It is obvious that the Modi led BJP government, even in this election budget, tried to misguide the anganwadi workers and helpers as well as the people of the country while neglecting the 2crore mothers and 10 crore children under six years. There is no allocation or mention on converting anganwadi centres to full time crèches to ensure the childcare service to the unorganized sector working women. On the contrary, the government has already decided to introduce direct cash transfer in place of nutrition ICDS and has started two pilot projects.
 
AIFAWH will organise a massive mobilization in New Delhi on 25 February 2019 against non allocation of adequate Funds, against Cash transfer and for the implementation of 45th ILC recommendations on minimum wages and pension for the scheme workers. AIFAWH calls upon all the state unions and all the anganwadi workers and helpers of the country to protest against the BJP government’s anti worker policies and join enmasse in the protest at Delhi on 25 February 2019. We request the working people of the country to extend full support to our struggles to Save ICDS.
 
Issued by 
A. R. Sindhu
General Secretary 
AIFAWH

Elected in the 7th Conference of AIFAWH
(Total – 21)

1.    President – Neelima Maitra                
2.    General Secretary – A R Sindhu            
3.    Treasurer – Saroj Sharma                

Vice Presidents – 7

4.    Hemalata – Centre                    
5.    B Lalitamma – AP                    
6.    PP Kalliani – Kerala                    
7.    S Janaki – TN                        
8.    Kajal Rani Sarkar – Tripura                
9.    Maharani Konar – WB
10.    Neeru Ben Ahir – Gujarat                

Secretaries – 11

11.    P Roja – AP                            
12.    Indira Newar             – Assam            
13.    Santosh Rawal – Haryana                        
14.    S Varalakshmi – Karnataka                
15.    VC Karthyayani – Kerala                
16.    Kishori Varma – MP                    
17.    Shubha Shamim – Maharashtra            
18.    Usha Rani – Punjab                    
19.    K Thamilarasi – TN                    
20.    Veena Gupta – UP                    
21.    Ratna Dutta – WB                    

Working Committee Elected in the 7th Conference of AIFAWH

1.    Veeralakshami– AP                            
2.    N Bharathi – AP                    
3.    Monika Washi – Arunachal Pradesh                
4.    Niroda Kakoti– Assam                        
5.    Meena Mech– Assam                        
6.    Ratna Sku- Assam                
7.    – Bihar                 
8.    Aruna Vaishnav – Chattisgarh (C)        
9.    Gajendra Jha – Chattisgarh (C)         
10.    Sarita Sahu – Chattisgarh (D)        
11.    – Chattisgarh (D)        
12.    Kamala – Delhi                    
13.    – Gujarat                
14.    Devendri – Haryana                
15.    Santro Devi- Haryana                
16.    Indira Devi – HP                    
17.    Bimbo Devi – HP                    
18.    Khimi Bhandari – HP                            
19.    – J& K                
20.    - Jharkhand
21.    Sunanda-  Karnataka            
22.    Yamuna Gaonkar– Karnataka                
23.    Shanta Ghante– Karnataka                
24.    Leelavati – Kerala                
25.    Devu Balan – Kerala        
26.    Vidya Khangar – MP                            
27.    Kamlesh – MP                    
28.    RC Dahiwade – Maharashtra            
29.    – Orissa                
30.    – Orissa
31.    Thilagam – Puducherry            
32.    Thamilarasi – Puducherry            
33.    Harjit Kaur – Punjab                
34.    Subhash Rani – Punjab                
35.    Krishna – Punjab -                 
36.    Susheela Kanwar – Rajasthan        
37.    Daisy – TN
38.    Susheela – TN                    
39.    Shrabani Chakraborty – Tripura
40.    Jali Rani Ghosh – Tripura            
41.    – UP                
42.    – Uttarakhand        
43.     - Uttarakhand        
44.    Molina Ghosh – WB                
45.    Manisha Chakraborty – WB            
46.    Manasi Das – WB
47.    Heena Satpathy – WB                
48.    Sulekha Bag – WB                
49.    Anju Maini- Centre                
50.    – Vacant - Helper

The General Secretary

AIFAWH

BTR Bhawan

13 A, Rouse Avenue

New Delhi – 110002

Phone: 23221288; 23221306

Fax: 23221284

Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(Adopted in the 9th Conference of AIFAWH held on 17-20 November 2019 at Rajamahendravaram, AP)

1 Stop privatisation of ICDS in any form in anganwadis in the name of Public Private Partnership, restructuring etc.

2 No Direct Benefit Transfer in ICDS. Stop the Pilot projects for Direct Benefit Transfer immediately.

3 Separate comprehensive legislation covering children from the age 0-6, similar to RTE Act 2009, to guarantee adequate nutrition, ECCE and health services to these children for a foundation for building strong nation of healthy, educated, and strong citizens and a society free of malnutrition, disease and illiteracy. Make anganwadis the nodal agency for implementation.

4 Make ICDS a permanent department. Ensure adequate Budget allocation for ICDS as per recommendations of different expert committees and reports on India’s nutritional challenges

5 Regularise all anganwadi workers as Grade III and helpers as Grade IV government employees

6 Minimum wages of skilled workers to the tune of Rs.30,000 should be paid to anganwadi workers and that of semi skilled workers to the tune of Rs.21,000 to helpers. Remuneration of anganwadi employees should be linked up with consumer price index.

7 Social security benefits including gratuity, pension, provident fund, medical facilities etc should be provided to all anganwadi workers and helpers; Include anganwadi workers and helpers in ESI, EPF schemes; constitute national level welfare fund for anganwadi employees with contribution from the central and state governments to ensure this.

8 No opening of mini anganwadi centres; convert all the mini anganwadi centres into full fledged anganwadi centres and appoint helpers. Pay equal wages and benefits to the anganwadi workers working the mini- anganwadi centres as those of the regular anganwadi workers immediately.

9 No Non- ICDS work to be given to anganwadi workers and helpers. BLO duty, different surveys etc should not be assigned to anganwadi workers.

10 Release the data on nutritional status of children of the country every year. Yearly monitoring of nutritional status of children to be ensured.

11 10% annual increment should be given to both anganwadi workers and helpers. Pending this, the increment available to the anganwadi workers should be extended to the helpers also

12 Anganwadi workers and helpers should be given paid medical leave.

13 Good quality Hot cook meal has to be ensured in AWC. All infrastructure facilities like safe drinking water, gas connection, store, gas stove, utensils, modern kitchen appliances like cooker, electric roti maker, idli maker etc has to be provided in the centre.

14 Allot adequate funds for immediate operationalisation of all sanctioned anganwadi centres, provision of proper infrastructural facilities including pucca houses, drinking water, toilets etc.

15 Open anganwadi centres to cover the entire population. Stop merger of anganwadi centres in various pretexts.

16 Convert all anganwadis into Anganwadi- cum Crèches to ensure safe place for the children of working mothers with full infrastructure and arrangements. Appoint adequate staff in anganwadi- cum crèche centres to ensure quality service. A viable model to be worked

17 Fill up all the vacancies in ICDS including that of anganwadi workers, helpers, supervisors and CDPOs/ACDPOs immediately. No additional charge of other centres to be given to anganwadi workers.

18 Till such pucca buildings are constructed, increase centre rents as per market rates in each places as per specifications. Minimum of Rs 15,000 in metropolitan cities, Rs.10,000 in urban areas and to Rs 5000 in rural areas; anganwadi centres in (sub-urban areas) ICDS projects categorised as Rural, but actually located in urban areas should be paid rent on par with the rent for the centres in the Urban projects

19 Education policy for under 6 year children should be in line with the ECCE policy. Regulate pre-schools. Only scientific ECCE centres to be allowed. No such centres should be allowed in the vicinity of anganwadi centres under any other department or programme of the government.

20 Strengthen the ECCE component of ICDS by imparting the necessary training to the anganwadi workers; provide uniforms, toys etc to the children in the 3- 6 age group to attract them to the anganwadi centres. Special drive by the governments to ensure enrolment of all children in anganwadis.

21 Anganwadi Centre Leaving Certificate from the Anganwadi worker should be made compulsory for admission in government primary schools

22 Ensure regular supply of good quality supplementary nutrition including egg and milk in sufficient quantities in all the anganwadi centres. Adequate allocation for cooking cost etc. No ban/restriction of any nutritional food items like eggs, onions, garlic etc. in the name of religion, caste etc. No ‘fortified’ food items which are not medically tested shall be distributed.

23 Locally acceptable food freshly prepared in the anganwadi centres should be served to the beneficiaries and not ‘Ready to Eat food’ or Food from Centralised kitchen. There should be no Take Home Ration.

24 Supervisors should be appointed only from the eligible anganwadi workers. No age limit or educational qualification restriction for anganwadi workers for appointment at the post of supervisors

25 Eligible helpers should be promoted as anganwadi workers whenever there is vacancy of anganwadi workers’ post; there should be no age limit for promotion of such helpers

26 Anganwadi workers and helpers should be given quota in the appointments for post like ANMs, Primary School Teachers, Village Servants, etc

27 Proper guidelines for the appointment of anganwadi helpers should be formulated and implemented.

28 The work of anganwadi workers and helpers should be clearly defined and no additional responsibilities should be given to them

29 Uniform service rules should be applicable to all the anganwadi workers and helpers throughout the country. Ensure parity in wages and facilities for the anganwadi workers and helpers throughout the country.

30 Without granting pension, there should not be any age bar for retirement.

31 Monthly Project meetings should be conducted in all the Projects regularly, for both the anganwadi workers and helpers, and the day to day problems encountered by them while discharging their duties should be discussed in these meetings.

32 Travel and daily allowances should be paid to all the anganwadi workers and helpers whenever they are called for any official meeting, including when they are called separately for the payment of their wages. TA/ DA should be paid for all distances and regularly every month.

33 Cover all the serving anganwadi workers and helpers in all the existing insurance schemes including anganwadi karyakarti Bima Yojana without age bar. Government should pay the premium of all the employees

34 Adequate allocation to ensure the cost of Poshan Abhiyan. No daily campaign in the name of ‘Poshan abhiyan’ which is affecting the anganwadi centre functioning. All the expenses must be paid to the anganwadi employees.

35 Solve the issues of digitalization of anganwadi data. It should be limited to the monthly reporting, not to replace the daily monitoring mechanism. No harassment or policing of anganwadi employees in the name of digital reporting.

36 Provide the infrastructure for digital reporting. All the expenses for smart phones, data and maintenance must be paid in actual to the anganwadi workers and helpers. In places where there is no network, make alternative arrangements.

37 Grievance Redress Committees should be constituted in all the states at the state and district levels by including representatives of the anganwadi employees’ unions.

38 Summer holidays should be given in all the states and winter holidays to the affected states.

39 There should be no restrictions on the political activities of the anganwadi employees, including the freedom to participate in any election, till such date as they are recognised as government employees, when the service conditions as applicable to government employees may be applied to them.

40 Recognise the Right to Organisation and Collective bargaining of the anganwadi employees. Immediate registration of duly applied trade unions of anganwadi employees in states Bihar and Jharkhand. Make mechanism for recognition of unions at state and central level.

41 Recognise AIFAWH as the representative of anganwadi employees in the country (which was the biggest trade union federation of anganwadi employees in the last trade union verification)and hold regular discussion with its representatives on all issues concerning them.

42 Ensure additional payment for additional services within umbrella ICDS like PMMVY, Kishori Shakti Yojana(SABLA), Poshan Abhiyan etc.

43 Corruption should be eradicated in the implementation of ICDS. Proper mechanism to stop corruption at all levels.

44 Ensure the implementation of all the existing benefits to the anganwadi workers and helpers, like timely payment of remuneration, implementation of leaves etc., and provisions in anganwadi centres. Ensure action against the defaulting officers and authorities.

A new World Bank Group report finds that the country set the pace for regulatory reform in South Asia in 2013-14 with 20 reforms - the region's largest number during the period.

India was followed by Sri Lanka with 16 reforms while three countries - Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan - focused their efforts on adopting modern electronic systems to facilitate business activity.

The 'Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency' report released on Wednesday found that four of eight economies in South Asia implemented at least one regulatory reform making it easier for domestic entrepreneurs to do business in the 2013-14 financial year.

"Doing business is easier in economies with administrative efficiency and strong regulatory protections," said Rita Ramalho, Doing Business report lead author, World Bank Group.

The report noted that in India a little over a decade ago, an entrepreneur seeking a loan to grow his business would have had little luck, because financial institutions lacked access to information systems to assess creditworthiness.

"Today, thanks to the creation and expansion of a national credit bureau offering credit scores and coverage on par with those in some high-income economies, a small business in India with a good financial history is more likely to get credit and hire more workers," it said.

Three of the country's regulatory reforms benefiting local entrepreneurs were in the areas of starting a business, getting electricity, and protecting minority investors, including through the adoption of the new Companies Act of 2013.

The government made starting a business easier by considerably reducing the registration fees, but also made it more difficult by introducing a requirement to file a declaration before the commencement of business operations, the report said.

These changes apply to both, the national capital and Mumbai. In addition, the electricity utility in Mumbai made getting electricity less costly by reducing the security deposit for a new connection.

Finally, the country strengthened minority investor protections by requiring greater disclosure of conflicts of interest by board members, increasing the remedies available in case of prejudicial related-party transactions, the report said.

It also introduced additional safeguards for shareholders of privately held companies. This reform applies to both Delhi and Mumbai.

In 2014, for the first time, Doing Business collected data for a second city in economies with a population of more than 10 crore.

In India, it now analyses business regulations in the country's national and financial capital; in Bangladesh, in Chittagong and Dhaka; and in Pakistan, in Lahore and Karachi.

The report covering 189 economies worldwide, found that Singapore tops the global ranking on the ease of doing business.

Joining it on the list of the top 10 economies with the most business-friendly regulatory environments are New Zealand; Hong Kong SAR, China; Denmark; the Republic of Korea; Norway; the United States; the United Kingdom; Finland; and Australia.

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