'First 100 days show NDA has no intention to work for the poor'

Report released by network of civil society groups expresses concern over policies damaging to the environment

By Jitendra
Published: Tuesday 02 September 2014


Civil society groups have come down heavily on the policies and programmes of the 100-days-old NDA government and criticised it for overlooking the promises made during elections.

Civil society groups under the banner of Wada Na Todo Abhiyan or WNTA (don't break the promise campaign), a coalition of 4,000 non-profits from across the India, undertook a review of policies of the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

On Monday, WNTA released a report analysing budget allocation and restructuring undertaken by the government in different sectors like health, education, agriculture, sanitation, housing, and flagship programmes of the earlier UPA government, like the Mahatma Gandhi National Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).

The report criticises the government for continuation of previous government's policies which is damaging the environment heavily. “The laws related land and environment have been twisted in favour of big corporations,” says report.

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In its report, WNTA demands greater accountability in governance and adequate budgetary allocation to ensure equitable sharing of resources.

“Dismantling of the Planning Commission, the way governors appointed by the previous government have been asked to resign, and passing of an Ordinance to appoint former TRAI chief, Nripendra Mishra, as principal secretary [to prime minister] is not a good sign,” says Pradeep Baisakh of WNTA.

The report, while analysing the functioning of Parliament, states that attendance has improved, and there are fewer interruptions, but important bills remain pending. “The quality of debate inside Parliament is difficult to ascertain, but the attendance has improved in comparison to earlier years,” says Santosh Singh of National Social Watch, which analyses Parliament functioning.

Regarding housing for poor, the report demands change of current policy of government which is based on social exclusion and profiteering. “As per target to provide low cost housing to every family, government needs to make 8,500 house every day,” says Indu Prakash Singh of Center for Holistic Development.

On price rise, the report says even though the government has taken some short-term measures, rising prices is a cause of worry for every household. “The interventions proposed for health, education, sanitation, free availability of 50 essential medicines and commitment to attain universal sanitation in three years, are to be commended for their intent. However, they either lack strategic direction or are sweeping directives that would mean little without matching resources,” states the WNTA report.

Activists from across the country share their concern for rising communalism and unbridled government backing of corporations.

The meeting was chaired by Paul Divakar, convener of WNTA.

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