Press Release- Narendra Modi what about actual policy about Farmers and Workers of Gujarat


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PRESS RELEASE
DATE: 20 May 2013

     During ninth ‘Krishi Mahotsav of Gujarat’, Government of Gujarat, tried to fool farmers with false promises while during ‘Vibrant Gujarat’ they insulted Farm, Farming, Farmers, and Workers of Gujarat.

We want clarification from “only and only one working man” Mr. CM of Gujarat’ about his actual policy about Farm, Farming, Farmers, and Workers of Gujarat.

During ninth ‘Krishi Mahotsav of Gujarat’, Government of Gujarat, is trying to fool farmers by showing with promises but when Mr. Narendra Modi’s Government of Gujarat organised the Vibrant Gujarat they have no problem in insulting Farm, Farming, Farmers and Workers of Gujarat.
The then Finance Minister of Gujarat Mr. Vajubhai Vala on 11th January 2011 while addressing a day-long pre-Vibrant Gujarat Summit seminar at Ahmedabad Management Association on ‘Industry Responsive Skill Development: The Emerging Trends in Gujarat’ said, “A farmer engaged in agriculture on a five acre plot will earn enough only for his family. But if an industry is set up on that land, it will provide sustenance to families of 25-30 thousand workers.” I would like to inform small and marginal farmers of Gujarat that the real agenda of Mr. Modi is to pursue corporate farming; his vision about the growth of agricultural sector of Gujarat is at the cost of livelihood of small and marginal farmers and food security.

The capital investment mania does not stop here but also insults the workers of Gujarat. Mr. Vala further instructed local industrialists not to spoil workers by giving them more than what is rightfully due to them. Government of Gujarat has converted worker of Gujarat from ‘workers to shramyogi’ and later on from ‘shramyogi to sahyak’.
At present, in “Vibrant” Gujarat, new employees in government are not recruited but sahyak are appointed in all the government department, who are low-paid temporary contract worker lured with a permanent job in future. In private industry, you may get job that will be low-paid as casual or contract worker and working hours varies from 10-12-14 hours.

Because of the commitment for capital to achieve two-digit growth, Gujarat is number 11 (two-digit figure) in Human Development Index among Indian states.
Let Mr. Modi clarify his real policy about Farm, Farming, Farmers and Workers of Gujarat.

Rohit Prajapati
Social Activist of Gujarat.

 

No Humans In Narendra Modi’s “Development”


 Narandra Modi's Vibrant Gujarat Story: Propaganda vs Fact #mustread

By Mukul Dube

27 March, 2013
Countercurrents.org

Narendra Modi of the RSS is an ambitious man who seems to want to become the prime minister of the country. His propaganda machine never speaks of the violence in 2002 in the state he ruled and rules, but it constantly plugs his hand in its development. I do not propose here to question the claims of development that he makes or which are made for him. Better qualified people have done that and have shown that these claims are based on sleight of hand or on outright lies. I shall only look at the meaning of this development business in Modi’s lexicon.

Modi’s own web site, at http://www.narendramodi.in/media-detail/?gid=11636 declares, “Development alone is the solutions [sic] to all problems: Shri Modi delivers inspiring address at SRCC!” Apparently the man said, “We are not pitching our tent on a single pillar. Our development model is based on 3 aspects — development of agriculture, industry and services sector. We want all 3 sectors to grow where each supports the other so that state economy is never in trouble.” This is typical of his populist demagoguery. A seemingly rational enumeration slips magically sideways and becomes a conclusion.

Here is a better one: “In 2001-02 when I became CM, 23 lakh bales of cotton was produced, today it stands at 1 crore 23 lakh bales. Our next step should be value addition. So we are working on that. We got a new Textile Policy. We have a 5F formula — from Farm to Fibre to Fabric to Fashion to Foreign. Till we do not take integrated approach then nothing will happen.” The reasoning is as devious as the grammar is slippery. The man jumps about like a grasshopper, dispensing wisdom probably obtained from his advertising consultants and speech writers: “We have to adopt ‘Zero Defect Mantra’ and other is packaging. We need to study consumer psyche and then work on manufacturing sector.” Such specimens as Modi cannot be pinned down. It is an established tactic of the Hindutva Brigade to change tack constantly, particularly when in trouble.

In http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/28/india-fantasy-gujarat-modi-hindus Dibyesh Anand writes that “development is not an abstract practice immune from identity. Economic reforms are being used in parts of India to depoliticise development and crack down on the marginalised. For instance, tribal peoples and those from lower castes are the biggest victims of forced eviction by the state for its development projects. Impressive economic figures from Gujarat belie the fact that on the human development index the state remains far behind.”

It was not an accident that economists, the very people who measured development in arid figures, began in the 1980s to look at human beings not as statistics but as the central concern of development. “Human development” has been so described by two of the people responsible for the new approach:

“People often value achievements that do not show up at all, or not immediately, in income or growth figures: greater access to knowledge, better nutrition and health services, more secure livelihoods, security against crime and physical violence, satisfying leisure hours, political and cultural freedoms and sense of participation in community activities. The objective of development is to create an enabling environment for people to enjoy long, healthy and creative lives.” Mahbub ul Haq, quoted in http://hdr.undp.org/en/humandev/.

“Human development, as an approach, is concerned with what I take to be the basic development idea: namely, advancing the richness of human life, rather than the richness of the economy in which human beings live, which is only a part of it.” Amartya Sen, same source.

Unlike the old idea of development, from which only the capitalists and the affluent benefit, human development explicitly is concerned with what all social classes get, including the poor and those who are customarily forgotten, the religious minorities and the tribals. On the other hand Modi, the glorious Hercules of Development, starves the Muslims of Gujarat and denies them housing, health care and education. Hardly surprising, because he belongs to the tribe which wants free and secular India to become the monarchical Hindu Rashtra which they believe to have existed in an earlier age.

Mukul Dube is a writer, photographer and editor who lives in Delhi. He can be reached at uthappam@gmail.com

 

#India -The feeding frenzy of kleptocracy #mustread


P. SAINATH, The Hindu 

orbes has just added an “errata” to Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram’s budget speech. The Minister had found a mere 42,800 people in the country with a taxable income in excess of Rs.1 crore a year. Or $184,000 a year. Forbes , the Oracle of Business Journalism, does not list taxable incomes. But it does put up a list each year of billionaires the world over. And in 2013, 55 Indians figure on that list, (up from 48 last year) with an average net worth of around Rs.190.8 billion. ( See:http://www.forbes.com/billionaires/)Their total net worth is $ 193.6 billion. That’s…er, Rs.10.5 trillion. Chidambaram might want to compare notes with Steve Forbes. They could come up with a lot more names falling within his narrow super-rich spectrum.

The 55 wonder-wallets give India fifth rank in the world of billionaires on the Forbes List. Behind only the U.S., China, Russia and Germany. Our rank in the 2013 United Nations Human Development Index, though, is 136 out of 186 nations. With almost all of Latin America and the Caribbean, bar Haiti, ahead of us. (We have, though, elsewhere managed to tie with Equatorial Guinea.)

Class divide

Well, okay, the total worth of our megabucks mob comes to just over $193 billion. But a glance within reveals a grim class divide. At the bottom are the aam aadmi tycoons, barely scraping past the one billion-dollar mark. There are four of them, inches away from plutocrat penury, with only a mere billion to their names. There are 17 in all below the BPL (Billionaire Permanency Line), which seems to be $1.5 billion. Once you cross that threshold, you tend to be a permanent member of the club.

There’s another 12 in the magnate middle classes, between $1.5 and $2 billion. Next, the deluxe segment: 16 of them — above $2 billion, below $5.5 billion. And finally, the big boys — above $6 billion each. The top 10 are worth $102.2 billion. (A bit more than our fiscal deficit of $96 billion.) There is also a platinum tier. The top three account for a quarter of our total billionaire wealth, if Forbes is to be believed.

I’m not sure Forbes is to be believed. All these sound like grave underestimates. Meanwhile the Chinese and Russians have forged ahead of us on the List. (Steve, I demand a recount). Either the Chinese and Russians are up to no good, or Indian creative accounting is keeping our numbers down. This fiasco becomes particularly galling when we’ve all been investing so heavily in the growth of our super-rich and better-off. Some $97 billion in this year’s budget. You can express that as Rs.5.28 lakh crore (as our tables do). Or, as Rs.5.28 trillion. It’s just as obscene either way. ( See: Statement of Revenue Foregone http://indiabudget.nic.in/ub2013-14/statrevfor/annex12.pdf). Heck, we deserve a better performance from our billionaires.

One of the biggest write-offs in this year’s budget is the customs duty on gold, diamonds and jewellery — Rs.61,035 crore. That’s more than what’s been written off on “crude oil & mineral oils.” Or even on “machinery.” The waiver on gold and diamonds in just the last 36 months is Rs.1.76 trillion. (Or what we lost in the 2G scam). I guess we shouldn’t be surprised, then, that three new Indian entrants to this year’s Forbes Billionaires List are in the field of jewellery.

It’s not as if we haven’t been generous with them in other sectors, though. The latest write-off in corporate income tax is even higher at Rs.68,006 crore. The total revenue foregone this year (Rs.5.28 trillion), as others have pointed out, is greater than the fiscal deficit. But just look at what the write-offs on corporate tax, excise and customs duties add up to since 2005-06, from when the data begins: Rs.31.11 trillion. (That’s well over half a trillion dollars). It also means we’re writing off taxes and duties for the corporate mob and rich at a rate of over Rs.7 million every single minute on average.

But the budget has almost nothing worthwhile for, say, health or education where there’s a decline compared to allocations last year (in proportion to GDP). Ditto for rural development. And a micro-rise for food that will quickly be taken care of by prices.

Gee. It seems there’s no need for the super-rich to commit half their fortunes to charity. They are the charity we all of us support. End the lavish waivers, pay your taxes and we’d be in glowing fiscal health. Every other economic survey and/or budget has noted the obscene write-offs as a source of worry and said so. Recall that the Prime Minister and Finance Minister have both in the past promised to end this corporate feeding frenzy at the public trough. But it only gets bigger.

What gets smaller is India’s tax to GDP ratio. In Mr. Chidambaram’s own words: “In 2011-12, the tax-GDP ratio was 5.5 per cent for direct taxes and 4.4 per cent for indirect taxes. These ratios are one of the lowest for any large developing country and will not garner adequate resources for inclusive and sustainable development.” ( Emphasis added ) But he does nothing to correct that by way of raising revenue. Only by curbing expenditures in the social sector. He’s nostalgic, though, for a time when “in 2007-08, the tax GDP ratio touched a peak of 11.9 per cent.” That was when the write-off trough was much smaller.

Food security

What also gets smaller is the idea of food security in a nation where the percentage of malnourished children is nearly double that of sub-Saharan Africa. How do they get past the porcine gridlock at the budget trough?

Also getting smaller is the average per capita net availability of foodgrain. And that’s despite showing an improved figure of 462.9 grams daily for 2011. (Caution: that’s a provisional number). Even then, the five-year average for 2007-11 comes to 444.6 grams. Still lower than the 2002-06 figure of 452.4 grams.

It’s scary: as we warned last year — average per capita net availability of foodgrain declined in every five-year period of the ‘reforms’ without exception. In the 20 years preceding the reforms — 1972-1991 — it rose every five-year period without exception ( see: Table 3).

Ah, but they’re eating a lot of better stuff, hence the decline in cereals and pulses.

So drone on the Marie Antoinette School of Economics and assorted other clowns. Eating a lot better? Tell that to the nation’s children — for whom sub-Saharan standards would be an improvement. Tell that to the famished in a country ranking 65 in the 79 hungriest nations in the Global Hunger Index (GHI). (Eight slots below Rwanda.) India’s GHI score in 2012 was worse than it was 15 years earlier in 1996. Tell it to Forbes . Maybe they could do a list of the most insensitive elites in the world. You know who’d top that one.

sainath.p@thehindu.co.in

 

Since 2005-06, taxes and duties for the corporate world and the rich have been written off at the rate of Rs.7 million a minute on average. Duties waived on gold and diamonds in the last 36 months equal the 2G scam amount

#NarendraModi attributes malnutrition partly to Gujaratis being largely vegetarian #WTFnews


by Venky Vembu Aug 29, 2012, First Post
 As Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi prepares for the State Assembly elections later this year, which he will likely use to pitchfork himself as a candidate for Prime Ministership, he perhaps knows that his every move, his every word and his every deed is being subjected to clinical analysis.

Any misstep, any off-message rhetoric will doubtless be amplified by his political detractors – of whom he has more than a few – which is why he has been extraordinarily disciplined in his public pronouncements.

For the most part, having consolidated his hardcore Hindutva base, Modi has been focussing in recent times on reaching out to voters in the middle ground by emphasising his record of having advanced development in Gujarat.

Gujarat fares the worst in terms of overall hunger and nutrition among the industrial States. Reuters.

The State under Modi has built on the industrial base that it inherited from earlier times, and notched up impressive double-digit GDP growth that is doubly remarkable given Gujarat’s high growth base (unlike the case with, say, Bihar, which has a low growth base).

Yet, there is one puzzle about Gujarat, an area of very uncharacteristic underperformance for a rich State, which has befuddled even the keenest analytical minds. This relates to Gujarat’s low ranking, relative to even some vastly poorer States in India, on critical parameters that define human development. In particular, Gujarat fares the worst in terms of overall hunger and nutrition among the industrial States with a high per capita income.

On the face of it, this is counter-intuitive. Greater wealth should lead to better health and nourishment. But this theory fails in Gujarat’s case. Even Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh gave voice to his sense of puzzlement that high levels of malnutrition persist even in pockets of high economic growth.

There is, of course, a history to this grim statistic, which predates Modi’s term in office since 2001, which renders it somewhat difficult for Modi’s detractors to use it as a political stick to beat him with. If anything, nutritional and general health standards are improving under his watch. Yet, the larger puzzle of why the statistics should be so bad in the first place has not been cracked.

Modi himself makes bold to answer that question, in an interview to the Wall Street Journal today. The interview is part of a bio-profile of Modi, which frames his political ascendance against the backdrop of a dysfunctional UPA government that has run the economy to the ground. (You can read the bio-profile, headlined ‘In slowing India, a fast-growing star’, here.)

It is the latest in a line of instances of foreign media entities familiarising their readers about the man who, in their assessment, could, under certain circumstances, be India’s next Prime Minister. It also shows up a Modi who is making the effort to seem accessible, and is tailoring his message to reflect the interests of the publication.

Thus, for instance, in the interview to Wall Street Journal, Modi hits all the right business-friendly notes. “Government,” he says, “has no business to be in business.” The tragedy, he adds, is that there’s no liberalisation going on.

Modi’s criticism is, of course, directed at the UPA government, which has been paralysed for more than three years now – and has turned the clock back on economic reforms in their entirety, and set the stage for an even more aggressive encroachment by the state into the domain of business. (But it could well apply to the BJP too, given that the party hasn’t embraced any recorms either.)

So far, so good. But when the journal seeks out Modi’s response on Gujarat’s chronic malnutrition problem, his answers seem uncharacteristically outlandish.

Mr. Modi attributes malnutrition problems partly to Gujaratis being largely vegetarian and partly to body-image issues among young women. “The middle class is more beauty-conscious than health-conscious—that is a challenge,” he said. “If a mother tells her daughter to have milk, they’ll have a fight—she’ll tell her mother, ‘I won’t drink milk. I’ll get fat.’

This seems wrong on so many fronts. And Modi’s response effectively trivialises a very serious health and nutritional issue that shames Gujarat in particular (and India in general, given that the pan-Indian picture is also far from glowing).

The problem of malnutrition in Gujarat (and elsewhere) that comes through in official data represents a rather more serious failing than can be dismissed as the result of young Gujarati girls being acutely conscious of their curves.

The third National Family Health Survey, the latest available, shows that in Gujarat, as many as 41.4 percent of children under three years of age were underweight. And about half of Gujarati children under five were stunted. Children in those age groups may be a little too young to be “beauty-conscious” in the manner that Modi suggests. In fact, the statistics for Gujarat on this count are marginally worse than the national average, which is doubly astonishing considering that Gujarat is one of the higher-income States.

Likewise, some 55.3 percent of women in the 15-45 age group were anaemic in Gujarat, which is about the same for women across India.

Gujarat also comes across as faring worse than the national average, and even some of the poorer States, on some other indices of health and nutrition,

As the Human Development Report of 2011 noted, the hunger status measured by the Hunger Index for some industrial states and states with high per capita income, including Gujarat, is worse than some poor states. “This suggests that economic prosperity alone cannot reduce hunger. Hence, there is a need for specific target-oriented policies to improve the hunger and malnutrition situation. Inclusive economic growth and targeted strategies to ensure food sufficiency, reduce child mortality, and improve child nutrition are urgent priorities.”

Malnutrition, according to the report, reflects an imbalance of both macro- and micro-nutrients that may be due to inappropriate intake and/or inefficient biological utilization. Poor feeding practices during infancy and early childhood, resulting in malnutrition, could contribute to impaired cognitive and social development, poor school performance, and reduced productivity in later life.

Malnutrition, it added, is a major threat to social and economic development as it is among the most serious obstacles to attaining and maintaining the health of this important age group.

For all its record of industrial advancement and relative prosperity, Gujarat is seriously underperforming on the health and nutrition front, and the larger index of human development. On these counts, it comes across as faring worse than a Jharkhand or an Uttar Pradesh, which have much lower per-capita income. And although the roots of the health and nutrition crisis in Gujarat date back to a time well before Modi’s term in offfice, the fact that such inequities persist under more than a decade of his watch may prove to his Achilles heel, which his political opponents will doubtless seek to exploit.

For all his discipline in communicating the developmental message that he wants to put out, Modi may have done himself a disservice in suggesting that Gujarat’s sub-par performance on the health and nutrition front is accounted for by anorexic girls who are beauty-conscious in the extreme. Such pronouncements only leave him open to the charge that he is trivialising what is at its core a life-and-death issue for many Gujarati children.

“1000 steps” walk against Malnutrition, What an idea Sir ji ?


March 31, 2012, Kamayani Bali Mahabal

The Prime Minister  Manmohan Singh has recognized the harsh reality of malnutrition in India by saying “India‘s “unacceptably high” levels of child malnutrition are a “national shame”. Our State women and child welfare minister  Varsha Gaikwad  in the assembly’s winter session  last year in Nagpur  admitted on the floor of the house that only 68 children were dying daily in Maharashtra , and our State Health  Minister, Suresh Shetty walks “ 1000” steps against  Malnutrition. (http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-03-25/mumbai/31236503_1_priya-dutt-tara-sharma-mothers)

Last Saturday, on March 24,  Mr Suresh Shetty with his vast  z- security , Page 3 celebrities and Bollywood stars , came together in their best dresses ,coming together after a hearty breakfast , at  the posh area of  South Mumbai, Nariman Point‘s NCPA complex ,  to  participate in the 1000 Steps walk  sponsored by Nestle and Times to India , to underline the importance of nutrition for mothers and their children, right from conception to the first two years of life.  One will  not find a soul on a Saturday mornings, except building  Guards.   The people who reached were the  Elite living around Nariman Point, Colaba, Marine Drive for a 1000 Steps Walk. But who were they walking for ? Were those people  there ? How absurd can you be, holding a march against malnutrition at Nariman point ?

A walk sponsored by Nestle, what am I missing here  ? Sponsoring what  Cerelac and  Lacotgen  for the participants ? Our Health Minister did not know that on March 19th , Delhi  Metropolitan Magistrate , after 17 years has charged Nestle India for violating the law (Infant Milk Substitutes Feeding Bottles, and Infant Foods (Regulation of Production, Supply and Distribution) Act.) in advertisements and labelling of its infant food products. Does our Health Minister know that  its important to enforce this law to protect mothers and children from the commercial influence.The Infant Milk Substitutes Act was brought in to regulate production, supply and distribution of infant milk substitutes, feeding bottles and infant foods to protect and promote breastfeeding and ensure the proper use of these food products.

Nestle through their products – Lactogen and Cerelac – had violated several sections of the Act by not printing the notice ‘mother’s milk is best for your baby’ in Hindi and also by not printing the warning that ‘Infant milk substitute or infant food is not the sole source of nourishment for an infant’ on the containers of Lactogen. The  warning was not printed in the size prescribed and all the mandatory information was not present in advertisements .

The march if at all ,  should have been  diverted to  Govandi, as same day same time there was a huge public meeting on the issue of Malnurtition co organsied by  Anna Adhikar Abhiyan, Anna Adhikar Abhiyan, Maharashtra, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Jan Arogya Abhiyan,  there.   Govandi  where more than 75%  of  its population lives in slums and the  Human Development Index (HDI) is the lowest in the city, at a mere 0.2.  Healthcare is inadequate; the population per hospital is nearly 66,881. It has the highest infant mortality rate (IMR) in the city — nearly 66.47 deaths per thousand births, where Mumbai’s average is 40 per 1000 births.

Forty-five-thousand children die of malnutrition every year in the state, according to ‘A report on nutritional crisis in Maharashtra’ by the Pune-based organisation Sathi-Cehat. One-third of adults are underweight, and 15% severely underweight. The report points out that chronic hunger is not confined to rural areas, as is popularly believed; urban populations in coastal regions, including the city of Mumbai, have the highest prevalence of calorie deficiency (43%) in the state. Calculations made using the per-consumer-unit-calories norm of 2,400 in rural areas and 2,100 in urban areas reveals that the incidence of calories-based poverty is 54% in rural areas and 39.5% in urban areas

The Maharashtra government had planned to bring down the number of malnourished children in the state by providing them with packaged food. The idea might have been noble but the government, it seems, forgot to run quality checks. As a result, the food supplied is substandard and the number of children dying of malnutrition has gone up substantially.  The State government statistics peg the number of children (0-6 years age group) who died of malnutrition between January and August  2011  as  18,486. The figure for the same period in 2010 was 12,792. So, this means 5,694 more babies diedLst  year.

 Investment  Rs 300 crore were spent in Maharashtra  for Take homes Ration ( THS ) scheme and the Returns-40% of children in Mumbai with low birth-weight.

Take Home Ration (THR) scheme has been a failure. Health workers mostly pay out of their pockets to clear unused THR. The food packets supplied as THR (Take Home Ration) are devoid of any nutrition and taste. Children and parents are reluctant to take these raw food items home, as they are made of low-grade ingredients, which get spoilt in a short period of time. Last month these packets were thrown by people  in garbage after finding fungi and termites in them.

THR scheme is way short in calories, also children between six months and three years can barely accept the food: sheera, upma, sattu and sukhdi (meant for adolescent girls). Of the four, sheera is the most important as it is recommended for and given to severely malnourished children at least thrice daily. In one of the series on malnutrition it was reported by DNA ” A nutritional analysis test  on the food provided by Anacon Laboratories Pvt Ltd, Nagpur, showed 3g of protein and 42 calories less (sample size was 100g) than the amount mentioned on the packets. Upma and sukhdi had 75 and 70 calories less.”

So, instead of  walking “1000 steps”,  Mr Suresh Shetty you should provide home cooked food to children between age of 0 -6 in Angawadis,  Disband the THR Scheme and  Implement the ICDS scheme for children, in true letter and spirit.  and I hope next time  , MP Priya Dutt  and Bollywood stars like  Amole Gupte ,  Konkona Sen Sharma and  Tara Sharma , when accept any invitation on a cause  I hope they reach out to the People affected, rather  than  a  mere tokenism , So how does this idea sound Sir ji ?

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