Monday, February 15, 2010

Governor’s address a mixed bag: Dr. JP

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today likened the Governor’s address to a curate’s egg – partly good and partly bad.

Talking to the media, Dr. JP welcomed the Government proposal to lay stress on food processing, form a road development corporation and go ahead with the development of a petro-chemical region along the coast. He also complimented the Government for its record in implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and encouragement to women’s self-help groups.

Dr. JP, however, said that the Governor’s silence on the breakdown of law and order in the recent past as deafening. Andhra Pradesh might have been an investment destination in 2009 but the current breakdown in law and order is not a good portent for prospective investors. The Government rose to the occasion in providing immediate relief to October 2009 flood victims but miserably failed to address their issues of housing and land reclamation. The Government patted itself on the back for the growth in the agricultural sector in the previous five years but failed to appreciate that the sector is growing through a deep crisis. The decline in agricultural production despite massive debt relief and free power and other handouts underlined the magnitude of the problem.

Dr. JP said that the Government conveniently sought to attribute the economic downturn in the State to global recession ignoring its fiscal profligacy, the immediate cause.

The Lok Satta President regretted that the Government did not utter a word about combating mounting corruption, highlighted by the raids on an Assembly official and exchange of corruption charges by ruling and Opposition parties.

Although 2010 is going to be a year of municipal elections and 2011 of panchayati raj elections, the Government would not make even a cursory reference to empowering the third tier of Government. There was no thrust on skill enhancement and provision of livelihood opportunities despite the growing unemployment.

Similarly, Dr. JP said, the Governor did not touch upon the acute power crisis the State is going through although unprecedented floods had filled the reservoirs. The Government refused to recognize that the health sector is in a shambles.

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