Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Aug 7:
In its bid to make up for the huge loss of face over a series of scams and embarrassing developments within the ruling party, the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government, which rode back to power for the fourth time in Odisha with a massive mandate in May this year, has asked all the departments to work towards the fulfilment of the promises made in its election manifesto.
The government has also decided to go for quarterly review of the progress made by the departments in this regard.
“Action initiated on the issues listed in the manifesto may be reported to this department. Further, progress on the actions taken will be reviewed quarterly,” said G B Reddy, special secretary of planning & coordination in a letter to secretaries of all departments.
It may be noted here that, in the first meeting of the Cabinet held on the day of the swearing-in ceremony, it was decided that the government will work for the implementation of schemes and other proposals contained in the party’s election manifesto over the next five years.
In order to pocket maximum votes in the elections, the BJD had churned out a ‘please-all’ manifesto, – from farmers’ welfare to shelter and food security, women empowerment to minority welfare, education to health security and employment to social security.
The BJD has failed to meet a large number of its election-time promises, made since 2000. The regional party had assured in its last manifesto that it would slash interest rate on agricultural loans to one per cent in the next one year.
Other measures promised for the farm sector were creation of additional irrigation potential of more than one million hectares in the next five years, making available high quality seeds, fertilisers, pesticides and technical inputs at the panchayat level, establishment of subsidy based cold storage facilities in all blocks on PPP (public private partnership) mode, and setting up of the second agriculture university in KBK (Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput) region.
In the industrial sector, the party had announced that the government will make it mandatory for the industries to provide shares to gram panchayats (GPs) and people from whom land is acquired and make them shareholders in the project to ensure continuous income for the GPs and the people.
Assuring shelter security for all, the party promised to provide assistance to make all kuccha houses into pucca houses across the state and set up a Shelter Security Mission, which will monitor all these activities.
In order to connect the rural areas, a Chief Minister Sadak Yojana was promised be launched to provide connectivity to all villages having population of 100 and less, which can not be covered under any other existing schemes, said the manifesto.
It also promised to provide universal health insurance, enact food security Act in spite of a similar enactment by Centre.
The party had also promised to set up a Chief Minister Employment Generation Scheme under which a minimum of 150 youth from each Gram Panchayat will be imparted necessary skill upgradation training and subsequently provided with loans and subsidy linkage.