Rajasthan- In Kotkasim, sarpanches want ‘ DIRECT CASH TRANSFERS “scheme scrapped


Cong hopes to fill poll bank with cash schemeParty to focus on big-ticket states, including Rajasthan

Diptosh Majumdar New Delhi, Dec2,2012, DNA

 

There is a game-plan within a game-plan. As meetings are held daily in the suddenly hyperactive Prime Minister’s Office in South Block, and finishing touches given to the “direct cash transfer” scheme, it is apparent that the government is leaving nothing to chance. And there is a realisation that the Congress fortunes will change dramatically if the government and the party together concentrate on the four politically significant states of Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
Yes, the government will make a definite effort to impress upon the electorate in all states that it is the real “aam admi” party, and that is why this cash transfer scheme to be launched at the beginning of 2013, has been conceived. But the party believes that if they concentrate their energies on four specific target states, they would have accomplished a great deal. After all, the number of seats up for grabs in these states adds up to 143. Maharashtra alone accounts for 48 followed by Andhra Pradesh with 42.
These states have been identified because, in each of these provinces, the Congress has a primary organisational architecture. For example, the Congress is capable of doing well in Rajasthan with its 25 parliamentary seats under
chief minister Ashok Gehlot, but there is a prevailing sense of helplessness among party workers because the party has lost ground due to anti-incumbency sentiments. A focussed political campaign along with a flawless implementation of the cash transfer scheme can renew contact with the voters. To begin with, the Rajasthan districts to benefit from the programme are Ajmer, Udaipur and Alwar.
Similarly, Karnataka politics is in a mess with former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa leaving the BJP.
In Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena would rely on a sympathy wave following the death of Balasaheb Thackeray, but the Congress believes its impact will be restricted to a few pockets, and the MNS will still be a key neutralising factor.
Finally, in Andhra Pradesh, the Congress is launching the scheme in the five districts of Hyderabad, Anantpur, Chittoor, East Godavari and Rangareddy.

Sowmya Sivakumar Jaipur
The gung-ho optimism about ‘direct cash transfers,” the UPA’s chief springboard for the next polls, may have a darker side. Sarpanches of Kotkasim block, Alwar district – where the country’s pilot project for direct cash transfers (DCT) of kerosene subsidies has run since the last 9 months – want the project to be scrapped, if it continues to be shoddily implemented.
“We have collectively written to the collector stating that we are receiving numerous complaints from people. The system will work only if advance subsidies are deposited on time. Three months’ advance subsidies were supposed to be deposited in December itself when the scheme started. But it came late, only once for 2-3 months.
Some have bought kerosene at market price, but haven’t received any subsidy amount yet,” chorus sarpanches from Kotkasim. “There are 1000 ration cards in the panchayat, but only about 200-300 have opened accounts. There are at least 100 families in the panchayat who actually need kerosene but have stopped consuming it as they have not been able to afford buying at the market price without the subsidy in hand in advance,” said Kaphtan Singh Chowdhry, sarpanchpati of Ghikaka panchayat in the block.
The much touted reduction in offtake – from 84,000 litres in Kotkasim block before the scheme was launched, to 12,000 litres now – is in fact a combination of plugging diversions and sharp drop in consumption, but the latter not all out of choice.
Bank accounts have been opened in the name of the mukhiya (household head) who, in many cases, are too old to go the bank a few kilometers away and stand in the queue for Rs33-36 (the subsidy amount per litre). In such cases, someone in the family has to accompany him. In interior villages, where there are no banks even in a 5km radius, this will mean wasting a whole day’s time and wage for availing the subsidy,” said Pooja Yadav, sarpanch of Teovas panchayat.
This has been reiterated in a recent study done by freelance researchers Bharat Bhatti and Madhulika Khanna in Kotkasim, under the guidance of right to food economists Jean Dreze and Reetika Khera. “The poorest households seem to be the worst hit under the new system. For them, going to the bank to collect the subsidy means losing a day’s wages and also transport costs. For some, these costs exceed the subsidy…many households are yet to receive any subsidy, despite shelling out Rs 500 to open a (supposedly “zero-balance”) bank account,” it noted, concluding all this has led to curtailment of consumption.
Ramcharan Meena, district supplies officer (DSO) of Alwar said, “we have conveyed these practical difficulties to the government. They are now talking of introducing mobile ATMs in rural areas which will facilitate easier cash withdrawal. This is only a pilot and we will improve based on its learnings,” he said.

 

 

Pleases e ethe video by Reetiak Khera

 

Sadashiva panel favours internal quota suggests reclassification of SC/STs into 4 groups


TNN | Jun 15, 2012, 11.28AM IST

BANGALORE: AJ Sadashiva Commission of Inquiry has favoured providing internal reservation (reclassification of 15% reservation amongst the sub-sects) broadly classifying the 101 sub-sects of SC/STs in the state into four groups. This is to ensure that the benefits of welfare schemes reach all the needy.

In its 200-page report submitted to chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda on Thursday, the commission, set up to review distribution of reservation benefits among various SC/ST groups, has found the benefits of reservation and of welfare schemes in Karnataka were reaching only a few groups among the SCs and STs, and several other sub-sects were the worst affected as a result.

But the rider here is that the Karnataka government has little role to play in creating the internal reservation. Quoting a recent court verdict, Justice Sadashiva said ” Presently, the reservation benefits meant for SC/STs are being cornered by a section of powerful sub-sects belonging to the right wing. As a constitutional amendment is required to Article 341, only Parliament is empowered to do so,” he added.

Keeping this in view, he said the commission in its report recommendsed that state government should insist Parliament make amendments to bring out the changes at the earliest.

As per the commission’s recommendations, the 101 sub-sects of SC/STs in Karnataka should be broadly divided into four categories — left wing (who identify with former dy PM Babu Jagjivanram), right wing (with BR Ambedkar and Buddhism), other SCs and touchables. Of the 15 % reservation extended to SC/STs, the commission recommends 6% reservation for the left wing, 5% for right, 1% for other SCs and 3% for touchables.

Justice Sadashiva said these recommendations were made following a feedback from 96 lakh SC/STs in the state. The commission had undertaken a major exercise conducting door-to-door survey of 101 categories of SCs, to determine their backwardness. For this, a comprehensive 195-question format was prepared, which took almost a year. The queries pertained to educational, cultural and economic background of families, and also the extent of reservation availed by them.

However, the survey brought out one interesting fact. Of the 96 lakh SC/STs, about six lakh people declined to identify their sub-caste. Probably these people are those untouchables who are yet to come out of the age-old social stigma,” Justice Sadashiva said.

After accepting the report, CM Sadananda Gowda said the government will examine and study the report before tabling it in the House.

LONGEST-SERVING COMMISSION

AJ Sadashiva Commission of Inquiry will go into the annals of Karnataka history as the longest-serving inquiry commission in Karnataka, and the reason is not because the panel was unable to meet the deadline, but sheer apathy of governments of the day – since Sept, 25,2005 – to provide necessary inputs to get the commission going. Justice Sadashiva said he has dedicated five pages in the report to explain the ordeal. Though the commission was formed in 2005 under the Dharam Singh government, it got down to work in 2010 after former CM B S Yeddyurappa released Rs 11.12 crore.

SURVEY FACTS

* Of the 96 lakh people identified during the survey, 33.47% belong to left wing, 32% to right wing, 4.5% to other SCs and 23.64 % touchables

* There are about 1.58 lakh SC/ST government employees in Karnataka

* There are 20.54 lakh SC/ST households in Karnataka

* In Karnataka, SC/STs together tip the population scale at 22.7%

* About 6 lakh SC/STs refused to identify their sub-castes during survey

India Today

CEC reiterates stand against illegal mining in State


New Delhi, March 29 2012, DHNS:

The Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) on Thursday reiterated its stand that no new mining leases should be granted in Bellary, Tumkur and Chitradurga districts unless rehabilitation plans for the existing leases were executed. 

The committee also maintained that the combined iron ore production from the mines should not exceed 30 million metric tonnes. It is imperative that any new mining lease should be considered only after the reclamation and rehabilitation plans (R&R) of the existing mining leases are successfully implemented and based on the existing infrastructure facilities and carrying capacity of the area, grant/operation of new mining lessee in an environmentally sustainable basis is found to be feasible and in public interest.

The Special Bench is likely to take up the CEC’s report on April 13. The matter has been adjourned to enable the parties to respond to the report.

The committee, in its report, noted the representation by Samaj Parivartana Samudaya, a non-governmental organisation, challenging ‘A’ category classification awarded to lease holder, R Praveen Chandra, who also held another lease, alleging that the directors of these two companies were close relatives of former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa.

“Praveen Chandra, the lessee, has made two payments, one of Rs 2.5 crore to M/s Bhagat  Homes Pvt Ltd and the other of Rs 3.5 crore to M/s Davalagiri Property Developers Private Ltd and which are shown in the balance sheets of these two companies. The directors of these two companies are close family members/relatives of the then chief minister of Karnataka. The matter needs to be investigated in public interest. The petitioner has requested the CEC to take up this matter suo motu based on this Court’s order dated 23.9.2011,” the committee report said.

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