ORISSA - Peoples Manifesto Common Minimum Programme
People's Manifesto – Common Minimum Programme
The entire world is facing an ideological crisis. After the disintegration of USSR, the capitalist system of US is also facing a big crisis. The need of the hour is to look how the best of both the world go hand in hand as both development and distributive justice is necessary to change the face of Orissa.
In fact, it is known to one and all that the global meltdown has hit India and Orissa too. The political parties must discuss and debate on these ideological issues in the Lok Sabha elections and the Assembly poll to get the people's verdict on the political and economic line for the country and Orissa.
The youth of Orissa must come forward to play a vital role in the political process. The political parties need to strengthen the political processes as the people's participation in politics are key to the development of any state and country. The government should take the help of good people in the civil society in implementing the developmental projects.
JVM has prepared a People's Manifesto – Common Minimum Programme (CMP) with the contribution of experts in various areas ranging from industry, youth, railways, and education to the financial inclusion. Around twelve experts in twelve identified areas have contributed more than twenty articles. These issues have been widely discussed and debated for over three months following which the People's Manifesto – CMP was drafted. This was put before the public at a convention on April 1, 2009 in Bhubaneswar to seek their comments and suggestions. And, after including all the suggestions, the People's Manifesto or CMP was finalized.
Following are the main points in the broad areas:
The global recession has hit both India as well as Odisha. In this context, the industrial policy of Odisha should be reviewed and renewed to tune itself to meet the challenges of globalization in the year 2009.
Both the people and government of Odisha should have an in-depth study whether the proposed 60 MoUs including POSCO, Vedanta and Tata Steel project will benefit the people of the state or they will be in loss at the end of the day. There has to be a cost benefit analysis of these projects. The state government conceded recently that the Rs 52,000 crore Posco project may likely to generate 4,000 to 5,000 jobs. In contrast, thousands of people are to lose their land and livelihood. Besides, the ecological impact of these plants needs to be properly assessed by the independent authorities.
The state government claims to sign 60 MoUs. Both the parties in power – BJD and BJP – should spell out how many of these MoUs have been materialized. And, it must make all the MoUs public.
JVM demands the political parties to follow following things:
1. Odisha government may resolve the problems it is facing in projects like Posco, Tata's Kalinga Nagar project and Vedanta on the following lines:
ØIt should take the people of the area into confidence and democratically sort out the issues in a transparent manner. It may hold referendum too, if necessary, to seek public opinion in the project affected areas.
ØB. Only paying the compensation to the people against their land and offering them jobs may not be enough. Apart from this, the political parties should explore other options too. The valuation of the land can be done. And, a portion of the value of the cost of the land can be converted into equity which can also make the land owners shareholders / stakeholders in the project. A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) can be created for this purpose. Like in Japan, the land from the people may be given to the private companies on the lease basis and the land losers may be given bulk money for starting their new life and they may be given annual rentals to ensure sustained livelihood.
ØC. The government should also ensure a percent (may be 50%) of the jobs across the board to be reserved for the locals of Orissa.
2. The state industrial policy must emphasize on how to attract capital from the people of Odisha origin living outside the state to invest back at home in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector for the purpose of employment generation.
3. The state has a lot of scope to develop agro and forest industry. The development of the cold storage and the soft skills like honey-harvesting can be encouraged as a SME sector.
4. Odisha has a long marine / coast line. Fisheries and other similar coast related means can be developed as a SME sector.
5. Orissa has a natural beauty which is attractive. The tourism sector has the potential to develop it as an industry both for the tourists as well as Bollywood and film industry which can provide employment and generate revenue for the state. The sea-food can be developed in such a way that it can attract more and more tourists.
6. Similarly, if Andhra Pradesh government can develop Tirupathi Temple and Maharashtra can focus on Shiradi, then Odisha government can also develop Jagannath Temple on similar lines.
7. The globalization has hit the deprived section of society the most in terms of jobs. The state government should ensure that the SC & ST population consisting of 40% of the population gets proper facilities for starting their venture.
8. The government should direct even the private professional institutes to reserve seats for this category and financial arrangements be made to pay their fees.
9. Odisha government, along with the private sector, should educate youths telling that the self-employment is the order of the day. They can also be job-providers by adopting SME model.
10. The people oriented industrialization requires mass education. The Dalits, Tribals, minorities and women should be given a proper education so that they can understand how to participate in the industrial-developmental process.
The power of youth is the power of the State. This is true for Odisha where the youth, with their immense capability and limitless energy, can bring about developmental change in the state.
In order to measure up to the desired expectations, the youths would do well to pull its socks together by taking corrective steps. To cope with the challenges ahead, the youths have to equip themselves with the required arsenal.
JVM asks the political parties to formulate a youth policy and adopt the following points for the development of the Youth in Odisha.
ØPolitical awareness is the power to choose between right and wrong. The political parties should encourage more and more youth to come forward and join politics to shape the future of the state.
Ø40% seat for youth in LS and Assembly poll: JVM asks the political parties to impart political education to the youth. And, give a minimum of 40% of seats both in the Lok Sabha and State Assembly polls. The age of the youth can be considered upto 45 years.
ØYouth Fund: The political parties after coming to the power should constitute a Youth Fund which should be 25% of the total budget plan outlay of the State. The money from this fund should be spent on sports and employment generation programmes. They should be professionally and vocationally trained so that they can start their own venture. The youth should be given a loan from this fund at one per cent interest. A special purpose vehicle (SPV) can be formed to manage this fund.
ØEntrepreneurial Attitude: A study of the Indian youth suggests that in metro cities youth are opting for 'self-employment' ways, leaving behind the 'employment seekers' mindset. Instead, they are generating employment through self-employment. This is a healthy trend for a country like India where more than thirty crore educated youth is unemployed! In Odisha, entrepreneurial mindset can be developed to work in the field of agriculture, floriculture, fisheries, tourism, small scale industries and several other untapped sectors. The political parties should work towards this direction.
ØCommunication Skill: Communication is a vast subject and it has several connotations. But the topic which is very relevant for the youth of Odisha, in general, is to have a sound understanding and command over English, which is now the language of the global world. Certain manners and etiquettes associated with English should also be learnt
ØInformation & Communication Technology: In the wake of the global economic crisis, the major IT companies like Microsoft have taken a beating. This gives the understanding that the youth must update his/ her knowledge with the time and opt for the advanced studies like Information & Communication Technology. Scores of computer-ignorant youth should learn the basics of computer and its application in day-to-day life. And, the political parties should take initiative to hold such kind of programmes.
ØPolitical parties should promote sports by organizing inter-district and inter-state tournaments in Volleyball, Football and Hockey. Sports will built up team spirit and inculcate collective leadership.
The violence in Kandhamal has tarnished the secular image of Odisha before the national and global community. It was a failure on the part of the state government due to which the violence lasted for more than a month leading to the killing of innocent people and several thousands of people became homeless.
All the political parties need to do following things if they come to power in the state:
ØA fast track court should be set up to punish the murderers of Swami Laxmananda Saraswati. And, the same fast track court should punish the criminals involved in the killing of a large number of innocent people and rape of women.
ØThe conversion and re-conversion politics of both the sides should be stopped.
ØThe government should take a special care for the development of SC and ST who are mainly the target of the conversion and re-conversion politics of Christian and Hindu organizations.
ØThe people who have become homeless in the violence should be given adequate protection for their return to their homes in Kandhamal.
ØThe land dispute between SC and ST should be settled and the ownership of the land to the original owners should be restored.
ØThe fake ST certificate holders should be identified and they should be punished for the violation of law.
ØThe state government should ensure that the communal violence in area of the state should be brought under control within seven days of its eruption. If the government fails to control it within the stipulated time, then it should step down
ØGovernment should strictly monitor the inflow of the foreign funds for the religious purposes in Kandhamal areas.
The women, in Odisha, though account for a considerable chunk of population, have largely been unnoticed in the state's political and economic scenario. It is rather unfortunate to note that the women have still not woken up to the reality; they are far from exercising their rights bolstered through women empowerment. Odisha is pacing up its effort to size up the impact of the global meltdown affecting its financial health.
The women need to think beyond the four walls; they need to lift themselves up. In the age of machines and computers, Odisha requires large participation of women. Physical power, the emblem of feudal mindset, is passé; mental power is the new mantra. It's time to dream big. Emancipation waits for them at the door.
In this backdrop,
ØJVM calls upon all the political parties to give 33% reservation of seats in the Lok Sabha and State Assembly poll. And, out of 33%, 23% seats should be reserved to the SCs and STs.
ØThe political parties should ensure that the atrocities against women whether domestic or in public life should be settled within 120 days of the registration of the case in police station. And, the guilty should be punished during the said period.
ØSpecial vocational and professional education should be given to the girl students and the government should bear 50% of the cost of this training programme.
ØThe government should ensure that women get loans at very reasonable interest rates for setting up their ventures.
5. Policy on land:
The rapid industrialization in the state has led to displacement of poor farmers and tribals. The political parties should ensure that a proper R&R policy is in place.
ØThe consent of the people affected on the nature of public interest.
ØThe land acquisition act 1894 allows people not to be displaced without their consent, in the name of public purpose which is yet undefined. Thus, it abrogates the democratic rights of the people. The political parties should ensure that the first principle of a law or principle should be followed while carrying forward industrialization.
ØThe need to minimize displacement.
ØRehabilitation as a right.
ØThe principle based on justice that none be displaced without rehabilitation, which has to be viewed as a right of those who are paying the price of development.
ØA caste / tribe and gender perspective.
ØThe tribals, dalits and other service castes are its worst sufferers. Even among them women feel the most negative impact. So special attention has to be paid to the needs of these groups. The policy should have caste\ tribe\gender biasness in looking into special and specific attention.
ØThe government should distribute unutilized land among the landless farmers, SCs and STs.
The globalization has affected the farmers of the state most. They are facing several problems which need to be addressed by the political parties.
ØThe political parties should ensure that the water is properly given to the agriculture sector instead of diverting it to the industrial houses.
ØThe farmers should get good seeds at a concessional price.
ØThe banking network in the rural sector needs to be expanded so that they do not fall in the trap of money lenders.
ØThe bank loans should be offered at reasonable rates.
ØThe farmers' consent should be taken while introducing organic farming.
ØThe state government should work on the rural electrification,
ØThe setting up cold storage should be encouraged in the state.
ØThe concept of Rayutu bazaaru should be introduced on the Private-public-partnership model from village to urban area level.
ØAn irrigation network should be expanded.
ØMechanism needs to be evolved for tackling both draught and flood in the state.
ØFarmers' crop should be insured.
ØFarmers' consent should be taken into consideration before the Corporatization of the farming.
All the indicators of financial inclusion in Orissa is very weak. The people should be conveyed the importance of financial literacy for managing their financial needs. According to a special report prepared by Union government on the financial inclusion, only three districts out of 30 districts meet the national standard of banking in the state. The state needs a proper banking network for a proper implementation of government schemes like NREGS. The political parties should ensure following things:
ØThe state government in consultation with Union finance ministry should recommend RBI to open new bank branches through out the state.
ØThe political parties should educate people about the importance of financial literacy. They should be conveyed the importance of insurance sector and new investment destinations like Mutual Funds.
ØThe people should also be conveyed which are the banks that offer loans at a reasonable interest rate.
The basic necessities like health and education still remains in a bad condition in the state. The political parties should work for the proper health and education facilities for the people of the state.
ØThe state government should have a proper health policy.
ØThe budgetary allocation toward health sector should be increased.
ØThe political party coming to power should ensure that each village in the state has a proper medical facility.
ØThe government should offer special remunerative package to the medical staff including doctors to work in the rural sector.
ØAll the private medical institutes and hospitals should be properly regulated so that the people can get health facilities at a reasonable fee.
ØThe political parties coming to power should immediately take steps to set up cancer hospital in the state.
ØThe political party coming to power should have a proper education policy.
ØThe public spending on the education should be enhanced.
ØCompulsory free education should be provided till high secondary.
ØThe permanent teachers should be appointed from primary school to university level.
ØSpecial emphasis should be given on SC, ST, minorities and women education.
ØMore vocational and professional colleges should be set up.
ØThe fee in the private engineering and management colleges should be strictly monitored.
ØThe government should ensure the teachers across the board are properly paid in time.
ØStudent Unions elections, including in the private educational institutes, should be held regularly. Teachers and parents associations should be encouraged for the proper functioning of the educational institutes. The students, teachers and parents elected representative should be given place in the management board of the private educational institutes and colleges.
9. Social Change:
Tribals have been at the receiving end in the recent past due to the rapid industrialization and communal violence. The political parties should take following steps for the tribal development:
1. Land rights of the tribals must be protected strictly. The government should not take their land for setting up industries without taking their consent.
2. The political parties should ensure that their justified demands and problems should be solved politically. Their rights should not be muzzled in the name of countering ultra-left by setting up Salwa-judam kind of forces.
3. Tribals must get the right price for their forest produce like Kendu leave.
4. The government should ensure that the tribals should also have a say in the mining policies of the government.
5. The political parties should implement reservation in the jobs in the private sector. And, a minimum of seven jobs should be reserved in the private sector. And, after coming to power, they should ensure that all the vacancies reserved for the tribals should be filled up.
6. The political parties should take proper steps to identify the fake ST certificate holders in the state. And, take criminal action against them.
7. Government should help them in setting up their forest based ventures and made available the loans at a concessional interest rate for setting up small units.
The SCs in Odisha still face social discrimination. There were reports of their entry being resisted by the upper castes in the temples. The state needs a big social movement on the lines of Tamil Nadu and UP to put an end to the social discrimination. The economic and social development of SCs is necessary for the overall change of the SCs in the state. The political parties should implement following points:
ØCriminal action should be taken against those who violate the human rights of SCs.
ØThe political parties should ensure that all the vacancies reserved for the SCs should be filled up in the educational institutes and government. The political parties should ensure 15% reservation for the SCs in the private sector for setting up small units.
ØGovernment should help them in setting up their forest based ventures and made available the loans at a concessional interest rate.
10.For physically challenged section
There are 10% physically challenged people in the society. Hence,
-Govt must reserve 3% of the seats in the educational institutions and jobs in the public and private sector for the physically challenged people in the society.
-And, the political parties should give 3% reservation to the physically challenged people in the Lok Sabha and Assembly poll.
11. With reference to the tribal development, Orissa Village Forest Rules, 1985 needs to be amended for :
1. Legal recognition to the community forest management practices in Orissa.
2. Power to the local inhabitants / forest dwellers / forest user groups to manage the forest.
12. Infrastructure specially railways
Orissa must develop its infrastructure facility which is very important for the development of the State. Apart from roads, railway network is very vital for the development of the state.
Indian railways has neglected Orissa specially KBK and Kandhamala district since independence.Railway is one of the cheapest mode of transport in the world compared to other means. And, the development of the state is very much linked with the railway network.
All the political parties, irrespective of power in Union and state government, must put pressure on the government/s to complete the three lines within five years.
oThe Kandhamal-KBK line: Bhadrachalam Road (Andhra) – Malkangiri- Jeypore – Junagarh – Lanjigarh Rd – across Kandhamal District –
oKhurda Road – Balangir line & Talcher – Bimlagarh
Indian Railways should pump more money in developing rail network in the backward regions in Odisha. It can certainly recover its investments and offer profits in the long run. Indian Railways should finish Kandhamal-KBK line and the Khurda Balangir line in the next five years.
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