Monday, March 11, 2013

Dr.JP wants legislature to focus attention on five issues

Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, Lok Satta Party national President and MLA from Kukatpally, today appealed to all parties to focus their attention on some of the vital and urgent issues which are plaguing the State in the legislature's budget session beginning on March 13.

In a media statement, Dr. JP regretted that legislatures in India do not have regular schedules. They meet infrequently for a total of 40 or 50 days in a year and even when they meet 90 percent of their time is lost in adjournments or disruptions. In contrast, in most mature democracies like the U. S. and the U. K. legislatures meet for 150 to 220 days in a year.

Even when the legislature meets, there is an unspoken compact between the ruling party and the Opposition. Both the Opposition and the ruling party seem to believe disruption of the functioning of the legislature is to their advantage. As a result, people have been losing faith in legislatures and politics.

Dr. JP would like political parties to focus on five vital issues in the ensuing session.

They are:

  • Perpetual power shortages and the deepening crisis in the energy sector. The issues call for both short-term and long term solutions.

  • Drinking water crisis caused by the depletion of reservoirs and declining groundwater tables. The crisis calls for concerted efforts including utilization of National Rural Guarantee Scheme funds for conserving every drop of water.

  • Elections to local bodies after enormous delay. Elections will become a farce without empowerment and devolution of funds.

  • Appalling standards of education. Although an annual expenditure of Rs.18000 a year is incurred on every student in Government schools, the standards are abysmal and call for immediate attention.

  • Growing corruption: Corruption can be combated only if there is a strong and independent Lokayukta, an autonomous Anti Corruption Bureau, independent prosecutors, special courts and provisions for confiscation of property. Efforts should be made to ensure that the Service Guarantee Act proposed by the Union Government is applicable to the State. In the alternative, the State should enact a similar law providing for citizen's charters.

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