Monday, June 29, 2009
VJAS urged indian Govt. to protect vidarbha cotton farmers from misleading bogus Bt.cotton seed Advt.
Nagpur-30th june 2009
Here is Advt. of one of leading marathi news paper in vidarbha this looks like news item ,this ADVT. is at front main news item .There is massive ADVT.s are being published in all dailies of vidarbha by hundreds of companies very toll claims ,may trigger another agrarian crisis as it is just inviatation to fresh spirel of farm suicides in west vidarbha.
Here in this Advt. which is reproduced from front page lead story is hoax,publishing bogus misleading ADVT. as news item is it fair and correct,VJAS urged mediA community.
Earlier VJAS has alleged that maharashtra Govt. is protecting bogus Bt.cotton seed companies ,here is marathi version of news item,VJAS has urged administration to stop these bogus ADVT. to protect innocent farming community of vidarbha who are committing suicides due debt and huge financial crisis.
Monday, June 22, 2009
डॉ- नरेंद्र जाधव पोहचले योजना आयोगात :
जाधव समितीच्या शिफारशी मात्र थंडया बस्त्यात !
अन्न, औषधी व शिक्षण आदी मूलभूत सुविधा देण्यासंबंधी जाधव समितीच्या शिफारशींवर अंबलबजावणी कोण करणार ?
किशोर तिवारी यांचा मुख्यमंत्री अशोक चव्हाण यांना सवाल!
नागपूर, दि- २२ (आशिष बडवे) डॉं- नरेंद्र जाधव यांचे योजना आयोग सदस्यपदी बसवुन पुन:र्वसन करण्यात जी तर्त्पता कॉंग्रेस आघाडी सरकारने दाखविली तीच तर्त्पता आता जाधव समितींच्या शिफारशींवर तातडीने अंबलबजावणी करण्यात यावी अशी मागणी किशोर तिवारी यांनी केली आहे.
विदर्भातील हवालदील शेतक-यांच्या दुदैवी आत्महत्यांच्या प्रकरणात आत्महत्याग्रस्त भागातील शेतकरी पॅकेजच्या अंमलबजावणीच्या समिक्षेसाठी सरकारने स्थापन केलेल्या डॉं- नरेंद्र जाधव समितीचा अहवाल महाराष्ट्र सरकारला सादर होऊन अकरा महिन्यापेक्षा जास्त कालावधी होऊन सुध्दा शेतकरी हिताच्या महत्वपूर्ण शिफारशींवर अजूनही अंमलबजावणी करण्यासाठी महाराष्ट्र सरकारने आदेश न काढल्याने नौकरशाहीच्या वेळ काढू धोरणामुळे विदर्भातील वैफल्यग्रस्त शेतक-यांत कमालीचे नैराष्य पसरले आहे- पूणे विद्यापीठाचे तत्कालिन कुलगुरू डॉं- नरेंद्र जाधव यांच्या एकल सदस्यीय समितीच्या अहवालात महाराष्ट्र सरकारची तोंड भरून प्रशंसा करण्या सोबतच विदर्भातील शेतक-यांच्या विदारक परिस्थितीवर विस्तृत प्रकाश टाकण्यात आला असतांना सुध्दा त्या अहवालातील शिफारशींवर तात्काळ अंमलबजावणी करण्याचे सोडुन मात्र सरकारने डॉं- नरेंद्र जाधवांची योजना आयोग सदस्यपदी वर्णी लावुन विशेष ‘‘सत्कार‘‘ केला आहे- जाधवांचे तर पुन:र्वसन झाले, मात्र दुर्दैवी शेतकरी आज ही शिफारशिंच्या अंमलबजावणीची वाट पाहत आहेत- विपन्नावस्थेतील साडेचार लाख शेतकरी कुटुंबांना अन्न, औषधी व शिक्षण आदी मूलभूत सुविधा देण्यासंबंधी जाधव समितीच्या शिफारशिंवर अंबलबजावणी कोण करणार ? असा सवाल जाधव समितींच्या शिफारशींच्या अंमलबजावणीसाठी सातत्याने पाठ पुरावा करणा-या विदर्भ जनआंदोलन समितीचे अध्यक्ष किशोर तिवारी यांनी मुख्यमंत्री अशोक चव्हाण यांना पाठविलेल्या पत्रात केला आहे- नरेंद्र जाधव यांचे योजना आयोग सदस्यपदी बसवुन पुन:वसन करण्यात जी तर्त्पता कॉंग्रेस सरकारने दाखविली, तीच आता जाधव समितींच्या शिफारशिंवर तातडीने अंबलबजावणी करण्यात दाखवावी असे आवाहन ही तिवारी यांनी केले आहे-
श्री तिवारी यांनी आपल्या पत्रात मुख्यमंत्री श्री चव्हाण यांना आठवण करून दिली की डॉ- नरेंद्र जाधव समितीने महाराष्ट्र सरकारला सादर आपल्या अहवालातील शिफारशित म्हटले आहे की, महाराष्ट्र सरकारच्या सर्व्हेनुसार विदर्भातील अत्यंत अडचणीत सापडलेल्या 4 लाख 34 हजार 291 शेतकरी कुटुंबांना तातडीची मदत देणे आवक्यक आहे- कारण गेल्या तीन वर्षात झालेल्या दुदैवी शेतकरी आत्महत्या या याच वैफल्यग्रस्त शेतक-यांच्या परिवारातून होत आहेत- या 4 लाख 34 हजार 291 परिवारांना विशेष बी-पी-एल- कार्ड देऊन प्रतिमहा 25 किलो गहु व तांदूळ सवलतीच्या दरात देण्यात यावा, त्यांच्या पाल्यांना मोफत शिक्षणाची व्यवस्था व्हावी, याच प्रवर्गातील 93 हजार दुर्धर आजारी रोग्यांना मोफत आरोग्य सुविधा पुरविण्यासाठी विशेष कार्ड देण्यात यावे, त्यांच्या पाल्यांना मोफत शिक्षणांची व्यवस्था व्हावी आदी महत्वपूर्ण शिफारशी जाधव समितीने केल्या असुन त्या अकरा महिन्यापासुन सरकार दरबारी धूळ खात आहेत- त्याची अंमलबजावणी तात्काळ होणे आवश्यक असल्याचे सांगून तिवारी यांनी आपल्या निवेदनात म्हटले आहे की शेतक-यांच्या मालाला उचित भाव मिळणे अत्यंत आवश्यक आहे- कापसा सोबतच सोयाबीन, धान, तूर व ज्वारी या पिकाचे हमीभाव सरकारने वाढवावे अशी जाधव समितीने शिफारस केली आहे, मागीलवर्षी सोयाबीन व कापसाचे उत्पादन अत्यंत कमी झाले आहे- खाजगी व्यापारी हमी भावपेक्षा कमी रकमेत कापसाची खरेदी करीत होते- बारदाना नाही हे शुल्लक कारण पुढे करून नोकरशहा सरकारी यंत्रणा खरेदी बंद पाडुन खाजगी व्यापा-यांचे घर भरत होते- त्यामुळे शेतकरी अत्यंत अडचणीत सापडला- विदर्भातील दुदैवी शेतकरी आत्महत्या थांबविण्यासाठी सरकारने ताबडतोब उपाययोजना म्हणून डॉ- नरेंद्र जाधव यांच्या समितीने केलेल्या शिफारशी लागू करण्यात व अत्यंत अडचणीत असलेल्या परिवारांना मदतीचा हात त्वरीत देण्यात महाराष्ट्राचे कॉंग्रेस आघाडी सरकार वेळ कां लावत आहे ? असा प्रश्न श्री तिवारी यांनी उपस्थितीत करून नरेंद्र जाधव यांचे योजना आयोग सदस्यपदी बसवुन पुन:र्वसन करण्यात जी तर्त्पता कॉंग्रेस सरकारने दाखविली, तीच आता जाधव समितींच्या शिफारशींवर तातडीने अंबलबजावणी करण्यात दाखवावी असे कळकळीचे आवाहन तिवारी यांनी आपल्या निवेदनात केले आहे-
मुंबई उच्च न्यायालयाच्या नागपूर खंडपीठात शेतकरी आत्महत्यांच्या प्रश्नावरील मागे सुरू असलेल्या जनहित याचिकेच्या सुनावनी दरम्यान डॉ- नरेंद्र जाधव समितीच्या शिफारसीसंबंधी अहवाल सादर करण्याचा उच्च न्यायलयाने आदेश देवुनही सरकारने चालढकल केली होती, ही बाब अत्यंत दुदैवी असल्याची खंत तिवारी यांनी व्यक्त केली आहे- नौकरशाही वेदना शुन्य असल्यानेच अहवालातील महत्वपुर्ण शिफारशी धुळ खात आहेत-विशेष म्हणजे शेतकरी आत्महत्यासंबंधी महत्वपूर्ण विषयांच्या या अत्यंत नाजुक प्रश्नावर सत्ताधारी कॉग्रेस - रा-कॉ तसेच विरोधी-पक्ष शिवसेना - भाजपा चा कुणीही नेता चालु अधिवेशनात आता पर्यंत आवाज उठवितांना दिसला नाही, याचे आश्चर्य व्यक्त केले आहे- या विषयावर राजकीय नेते किती गंभीर आहेत ? याची आता पुन्हा प्रचिती होत आहे- डॉं- नरेंद्र जाधव यांचे योजना आयोग सदस्यपदी बसवुन पुन:र्वसन करण्यात जी तर्त्पता कॉंग्रेस आघाडी सरकारने दाखविली तीच आता जाधव समितींच्या शिफारशिंवर तातडीने अंबलबजावणी करण्यात दाखवावी, यासाठी विरोधीपक्ष शिवसेना-भाजप कोणती भुमिका घेतात, या कडे हवालदिल शेतक-यांचे लक्ष लागले आहे
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
VJAS Urged Maharashtra Govt. to “National Food security mission” for food crop promotion in farm suicide effected area of vidarbha
Appeal to donate for promotion of desi food crop cultivation campaign
The advertisement published by Govt. of Maharashtra (reproduced here) has not covered single farm suicide effected district of vidarbha and marathawada under central Govt.’s “National Food security mission” for food crop promotion as per details in Govt. advertisement only Pune ,Nashik,Chandrapur ,Bhandara,Gondia and Gadchiroli districts have been covered as agriculture depttt. restricted this year “Rice” as food crop for national food crop security campaign –khariff 2009.
It has been main reason of agrarian crisis that the farmers of west vidarbha has shifted for mono crop cultivation that is cotton or soybean and area under cultivation has increased from 50% to almost 95% which is one of the main reason of increasing distress and debt due to high cost of cultivation of these cash crop hence VJAS has been demanding introduction of “National Food security mission” in west vidarbha .
VJAS has highlighted importance of the mixed crop pattern and urged the government to set up better targets for food suitable for delayed monsoon crops such as pulses, legumes and oil seeds: safflower, mustard, tur, jowar, bajra, ground-nut, chana, sun-flower and it is nee of hour to regulate high risk high cost cultivation of cash crop in agrarian crisis effected area at least for small and marginal farmers (up to three or four acres) could be encouraged to have go for 50-50 (cash crop plus the food crop). There are desi seed till available that grow without much water.
VJAS urged vidarbha cotton farmers not to cultivate more than 50 per cent land should be under cash crop (Soya or cotton or whatever),it is also suggested that they should have at least 10 square meters for water pond (not above the land, but beneath the surface model),the remaining land should be divided between legumes and pulses
The boundaries (dhura) could be used for dry land fruits and seasonal vegetables: such as custard apple (sitafal), lemon, mango (long term fruit), drum-sticks (advisable for tribal farmers with shallow land), jack-fruit, beans, bhopla, Aamla (One need not plant these trees in big numbers but sufficient enough for domestic consumption and little marketable produce in the seasons).All of this does not need financial inputs or water use in big way, but saves on spendings on buying food from outside,VJAS added.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
+ YouTube video
`Its high input costs have increased farmers' indebtedness'
|The hybrid Bt.cotton|
MUMBAI: A new study on the introduction of Bt cotton in Vidarbha reveals that it has failed in the region. Suman Sahai, Director of Gene Campaign, told journalists on Wednesday that despite specific knowledge that Bt cotton would not work in rainfed areas, the government had introduced it in Vidarbha. The result was that in an area with a history of indebtedness, the high input costs of Bt cotton had increased indebtedness. The study had shown that 70 per cent of small farmers had already lost their landholdings as collateral for loans that they could never repay.
The Gene Campaign study, which will be ready in four to five weeks, consisted of a technology adoption study to look at how Bt cotton was adopted in Vidarbha. It is based on interviews with around 500 cotton farmers from Amravati and Yavatmal districts. Preliminary data shows that farmers who had adopted Bt cotton had a net lower income than non-Bt cotton farmers.
Dr. Sahai said that Bt cotton did better in irrigated areas and that it was a mistake to introduce it in an area like Vidarbha. It did not perform well in the region because inputs costs were high, including the cost of the seeds, there was an abundance of spurious seeds and the technology had been adopted without any preparation of the farmers for the complex management practices that were needed. Seed dealers, she said, encouraged farmers to buy far more fertilizer and pesticide than was needed, thereby raising their input costs. They promised farmers that they would get between 12 to 15 quintals per acre when the actual production was in the range of three to five quintals per acre. At the same time cotton prices came down with the import of Chinese cotton. The study reveals that on average, farmers who adopted Bt cotton lost Rs. 1,725 per acre. "Such economics cannot work," she said.
The study revealed that many farmers adopted Bt cotton because they believed it was a "government seed" and did not know that it was privately produced and marketed. They also accepted it because the government was actively promoting the technology. While local officials, like the Agriculture Commissioner of Amravati, were aware of the failure of Bt cotton, the state agriculture department continued to promote it. "The role of the government has been irresponsible and damaging," said Dr. Sahai.
Dr. Sahai also pointed that Bt was a limited time technology. In the United States, where it has been introduced 10 years ago, it had already developed resistance. This was also happening in China. In India, she said, "we are seeing resistance earlier because of rampant proliferation of illegal seeds and the wrong techniques being used."
The Bt technology was not need driven but supply driven, said Dr. Sahai.
She stressed that cotton farmers had not demanded it and that in any case, the expression of the Bt cotton gene worked for only 90 days while Indian cotton took 160 days to mature. In other words, during the crucial period when the crop needed protection from pests, it remained unprotected.
The study had also collected anecdotal evidence about other side effects of Bt cotton on plants and animals.
For instance, cattle deaths had been reported in areas where they grazed in harvested Bt cotton fields, women working in cotton fields had complained of rashes, and there were reports that mango trees were not flowering.
Despite such reports, the government had not conducted tests to establish whether any of this could be attributed to the introduction of Bt cotton. The impact of cotton oil, extracted from Bt cotton, on human and animal health had also not been considered.
Dr. Sahai said it was essential to conduct safety tests and also put in place a regulatory system before any new technology is introduced.
Bt Cotton adoption in Vidarbha
16 Jun 2009, 0638 hrs IST, Ashish Roy, TNN
NAGPUR: The Union ministry of corporate affairs has sought an explanation from Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) regarding a complaint lodged by the Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti (VJAS). The samiti has alleged that there was favouritism by MADC in allotment of land to big companies, including allotment of land before it was acquired by MADC and causing loss to the exchequer by giving land at discounted prices.
MADC, a state government-run company, is developing Mihan and a special economic zone (SEZ) near the city. The assistant registrar of companies, Mumbai, has said in a notice sent to MADC that the complaint lodged by VJAS prima facie shows that "there is material indicative of violation of Companies Act, 1956."
The ministry has warned in the notice that if it does not receive a reply or if the reply received was not relevant to the points raised by the complainant, or was haphazard or evasive in nature, then it would have no option but to take legal action against the company and its directors.
VJAS president Kishor Tiwari has alleged that MADC exhibited favouritism in allotment of land to big companies. Many companies were given land at throwaway prices, thus causing huge loss to the public exchequer, Tiwari alleged. He also claimed that allotment of land was started before completion of the acquisition process, and land was 'reserved' for certain companies without following due process of law.
Tiwari has said that many of these companies also raised bank loans amounting to crores of rupees by showing ownership of land allotted by MADC, even though at that time MADC itself had not become the lawful owner of the land.
Incidentally, land in SEZ was allotted to First City project of Reatox Ltd, which was later disallowed by Ministry of Commerce.
VJAS claimed that most IT companies got land in the SEZ disproportionate to their requirements. Most IT companies do not need more than 20 hectares, however MADC allotted them between 50 and 350 hectares., Tiwari said.
Tiwari also charged MADC vice chairman and MD R C Sinha with joining the board of directors of Maytas Ltd, which was owned by a son of Satyam chief B Rama Raju. Satyam had been allotted 330 hectares by MADC. Many of the companies that received land from MADC too had started giving contracts to Maytas, said Tiwari. Sinha was also a director in Ambuja and Indu Projects, which were direct and indirect beneficiaries of Mihan project.
Tiwari alleged that MADC officials were working in collusion with political bigwigs of the region and the livelihood of hundreds of farmers had been destroyed by the company.
MADC vice chairman R C Sinha said that he would send a reply to the assistant registrar of companies when he receives a communication in this regard.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Colombian cotton growers want to sue U.S. agricultural company Monsanto for selling them a bad genetically engineered seed that caused damage to crops.
According to the cotton growers, the seed caused damage to 13 percent of the cotton crops in the north of Colombia, resulting in a 7 million dollar loss, economic magazine Portfolio reported Wednesday.
Conalgodón, the Colombian federation of the cotton growers, declared that Monsanto gave the seed, stating that it was strong enough to resist plagues and the effects of the glyphosate herbicide. At the same time, Monsanto did not give an appropriate information about the variety that would be planted for the first time in the region.
The seed, known as DP 164, was three times more expensive than the traditional one, but did not resist the plagues as promised.
Monsanto offeed to compensate the growers with 640 thousand dollars, but put conditions on the compensation the growers find hard to accept. Morever, this is not the first time Monsanto has a similar problem in Colombia. In 2008 same situation was in the Tolima department with Monsanto seeds.
High Court directs State Govt to provide food grains to Dying tribals by June 30
A division bench consisting of Justice Dilip Sinha and Justice A P bhangala while hearing a letter-petition filed by Madhukar Gumble and Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti president Kishor tiwari regarding implementation of Khawati scheme in tribal areas. Due to failure of officials’ machinery to supply adequate food grains before onset of rainy season, malnutrition deaths have occurred. Under Khawati scheme, 70 % aid is provided in the form of food grains while 30% is given in cash.
The High Court while pulling up the authorities, lamented that despite several orders issued from time to time, the officials have failed to distribute food grain.
Amicus Curiae Firdos Mirza drew attention towards GR dated March 24, 2008 pertaining to supply of food grains to tribals and action in case of failure of concerned officials, Additional Government pleader Bharti Dangre fairly conceded that no instructions have been given to her despite repeated follow-up. Adv. Mukesh Samarth appearing for Tribal Welfare Corporation claimed that so far food grain had not been supplied to them and clarified that the corporation is merely distributing agency
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
|Most governments that stressed welfarist measures — particularly cheap rice and employment — gained in last month’s elections.|
Now that we have a Cabinet whose assets total close to Rs. 5 billion on its own declaration, with Ministers worth over Rs. 75 million each on average, it will be worth watching how it rises to the challenge of identifying with the poor and the hungry. That Rs. 5- billion figure, painstakingly compiled by the National Election Watch, a coalition of over 1200 civil society organisations working across India, covers 64 of the 79 Ministers. The other 15 are Rajya Sabha members whose updated assets are yet to be computed. True, these figures are skewed by the fact that the top five Ministers alone are worth Rs. 2 billion. However, as the NEW points out, the rest are not destitute. In all, 47 of the 64 are crorepatis. And the remaining 15 won’t harm the score too much when their totals come in.
Together, they will preside over the destiny of, amongst others, 836 million Indians who "get by with less than Rs. 20 a day" (National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector report, August 2007). This challenge will unfold in a Lok Sabha where the average worth of an MP is Rs. 51 million. Again, this average too, is skewed by a chunk of 60-70 MPs of the 543 whose asset worth is relatively very low. On the other hand, many have notched up large gains in wealth during their first term as MPs.
In a complex and layered verdict driven by many factors, one seems clear: most governments that stressed welfarist measures — particularly cheap rice and employment — gained in last month’s election results. This was regardless of which party was leading them — the Congress, the BJP, the BJD, the DMK or any other. Some of these measures might not have led to large numbers of people going out to vote for those governments. But they at least lowered hostility levels amongst the voters in a hungry nation. As Madhura Swaminathan points out, the FAO data confirm that "no country comes close to India in terms of the absolute number of people living in chronic hunger."
The hungry have had it pretty bad. The rise in food prices was extremely steep over the last five years, one of our more adverse periods in decades. Between just 2004 and 2008, the price of rice rose by over 45 per cent and of wheat by more than 60 per cent. Atta, edible oils, dals, milk and even salt saw rises of between 30 and 40 per cent. Lower or near-zero inflation has seen no drop in food prices. That the media never saw hunger and cheap food as a major poll factor says more about them than the issue.
The DMK’s colour television set giveaway — the focus of much derisory media attention — was never a fraction as important as its provision of 20 kg of rice per family at Rs.1 a kg since September 2008. That too, for anyone with a ration card, without dividing people into the APL or BPL groups. Tamil Nadu had already been providing rice at Rs.2 a kg for some years. It also took the NREGA seriously. The State government gained on both counts.
In Andhra Pradesh, like in Tamil Nadu, the Congress government of Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy was helped by the presence of a third party — Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam — which drew a lot of anti-Congress votes, crippling the rival Telugu Desam Party. But YSR’s was also a government which in its first year restored lakhs of cancelled BPL cards and issued lakhs of new ones. (The Hindu, Sept. 29, 2005) In nine years, Chandrababu Naidu’s government issued no BPL card till the period just before the elections. That in a State where hunger and food have been huge issues even in urban areas. Andhra Pradesh was where rice at Rs. 2 a kg began with Naidu’s father-in-law, then Chief Minister N.T. Rama Rao. NTR’s charisma was never in question — but rice at Rs. 2 a kg helped, more than any other factor, to convert it into votes.
Chief Minister Rajasekhara Reddy in fact stole the TDP’s clothes when in April 2008 he brought back the Rs. 2 a kg rice scheme — a year before the national polls. This was at 4 kg per person (or 20 kg per family of five). An earlier generation of Congress leaders had trashed NTR’s pet project as a "costly gimmick." But Dr. Reddy took a more sensible line and gained from it.
During Mr. Naidu’s years in power, so lavishly praised in the media for his reforms, the public was repeatedly hit by massive hikes in power charges, water rates, food prices and other costs. He has not managed to live down his record or regain credibility in 2009.
His adversary ran a decent NREGA programme. In the backward Mahbubnagar district, distress migrations fell as many found work under the NREGA. (See The Hindu, May 31, 2008) This at a time when food prices were biting. So much so that people in their 70s turned up at NREG sites for work — their Rs. 200-a-month pensions blown away by the rise in food prices. Even on that front, though, the Andhra Pradesh government earned some credit. When it assumed power, there were 1.8 million people in the State getting old-age, widow and disability pensions — a paltry Rs. 75 each. This was raised to Rs. 500 for disabled people and Rs. 200 for the rest. Hardly enough — but a lot more than before. And the number of people getting these pensions rose four-fold to 7.2 million. The State also has one of the country’s better pension schemes for women.
In Orissa, Naveen Patnaik played his cards most effectively, gutting the BJP and corralling the Congress. But he also gained hugely from giving people cheap rice. In the burning hunger zones of Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput, 25 kg of rice had been offered to all families at Rs. 2 a kg since mid-2008. In the rest of the State, this was restricted to BPL families. The government also gave out10 kg of free rice to the poorest families in the KBK districts. This had a major impact in curbing starvation deaths. Mr. Patnaik also increased the numbers of those coming under pension schemes — and housing projects for the poor — quite significantly. (At the same time, he implemented the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations before the polls, sewing up the middle classes as well).
Sure, these were not the only issues on which people voted, but they played a big role (In the case of YSR and Mr. Patnaik, there was another factor that helped this along. The positive measures in both States were present and visible. The negatives — and they are explosive, like massive human displacement, SEZs, dangerous mining projects — are in the pipeline. Disasters waiting to happen but which will take two or three years to do so. Unless, of course, those policies change.)
In Chhattisgarh, however repugnant the ways of that government in many spheres, Chief Minister Raman Singh took a personal interest in declaring 35 kg per family at Rs. 3 a kg. His government then unilaterally "increased" the number of people below the poverty line to almost 15 million — in a population of 20.8 million (2001 census). That is, close to 70 per cent of the population was "declared" BPL. This was done several months before the 2008 Assembly elections. It helped the government in both the State and national polls.
The Left Front in West Bengal failed on both fronts. The State saw rioting at ration shops last year as the Centre cut allocations of grain sharply. Yet West Bengal, which tops the States in rice production, moved towards provision of cheaper rice only early this year. Too reluctantly and too late. Its performance in the NREGS was also very poor. Hunger was a factor in the rout of the Left Front.
So what should those in power read into the poll results? That they have a mandate for more liberalisation, privatisation, high prices and other such reforms? Or that the price of rice could be the price of power? That jobs and security are vital? Food prices and cheap rice are crucial, though not the sole issues. Governments cannot bank on such moves already made to bring them perpetual gains. But the whole process is a step ahead and has raised the bar on public expectations. Sharp reversals could prove suicidal.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Plan body dampener for air hubhttp://www.indianexpress.com/news/Plan-body-dampener-for-air-hub/469801
After ten years of efforts by local politicians and a huge emotional investment by the development-starved people of Vidarbha, the Multimodal International Hub Airport Nagpur (MIHAN), the ambitious project already taking shape here, is in for a shocker — two recent reports by two separate expert bodies to be submitted to the Centre say New Delhi, not Nagpur, is best suited to host the international air cargo hub.One of the reports is by a special committee of the Planning Commission to be submitted to the Centre while the other is by Ernst & Young for Airports Authority of India (AAI). Sources in the plan body said the committee headed by Anwarhul Hoda, a member of the now-dissolved body, has said in a report on “Integrated Logistics” that New Delhi would be better suited for locating the international air cargo hub than Nagpur. Nagpur, it says, can at best be a site for a national cargo hub. The report is due to be submitted to the government once the new Planning Commission gets constituted