Friday, July 24, 2009

A gloomy budget and a gnawing society

UPA’s re-election,largely on the ground of whimsical expectations of the poor ,has not given a promising hint to them on this account of social reforms in this year’s budget.Though UPA leaders have claimed that budget is flexible and will be raised and reformed if necessary,but niether the pro-poor policies have earned any consolidation nor any big ticket social sectors programmes have been spotted until now.

The Child Rights And You(CRY)director Dipankar Majumdar was left amazed to find that 40%of the populaton [that is the children] gets only 5.6%allocation while they had campaigned for 10%allocation for education and health.While the Center For Budget And Governance Accountability(CBGA) noted a boost in technical educations with the ministers letting the allocations for setting up of community polytechnics a new IIT and some new IITs and IIMs,it found to its dismay a decline in the allocations for the Sarbya Shiksha Aviyan(SSA)and the mid day meal on the other hand.For a country which is on the fast track of development,striving to emancipate from third world economic growth track,it is very much abashing that it still ignores the cause of basic health and the education of the poor.

All India Democratic Womens’ Association(AIDWA)recognised the budget as the betrayal of their trust and a drift in the promises made in the President’s speech.The much touted National Mission for Empowerment of Women got a meager of Rs1Crore and for Rashtriya Mahila Kosh(that supports women's self help group)has also being reduced by11Crores.The allocation for government supported hostels for working women even decreased from Rs20Crore to Rs10Crore!the allocation for the Six Bharat Nirman Schemes have been raised by 45% and to the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna by 59%.

Allocation for NREGS has risen only by 30% over the revised estimate for the last financial year.If the target now is to give 100 days work at a daily wage raised from Rs80 to Rs100,then the NREGS budget must be raised by 125% and not 30%.

Our budget earmarks an additonal Rs1200Crores to elementary and secondary education,which is uncountable and almost negligible in comparison to the required Rs10000Crore +,if the right to education act is to be supported and a compulsory education is to be ensured for age group of 6-14years.

HRD minister Kapil Sibal’s propensity for privatisation of schooling system is absolutely not justified and the other radical reforms it introduced all went vain until and unless the whole curriculum on all India basis is revamped and a child centric-warm environment is ensued throughout the length and breadth of the country in each and every schools.In his 100 days agenda somewhere,he forgot to take into account that the problem is manifold.Changing the examination system or having a single board is not going to help.In a country where nearly 30%of the children drop out at the upper primary stage,while 50% drop out by the time they reach class 8,the ministry should aim at ameliorating primary education more than it do for higher education.

While in corporate sector,the conscience of the Finance Minister is much more visible.Though the sensex went into a tail-spin by 870 points on the budget declaring day,we must remember the market sentiments do not reflect in the full the judgement of the industry.Moreover it was due to the mis-speculation of the economic survey (presented prior to budget),wrong promotion by media and analysts etc. that lead to the fall.

Excluding the increase in MAT,the corporate sector has received a bonanza:

1.Extension for one more year in deduction from taxable income of the export profits of the software technology parks of india [STPI],special economic zone[ SEZ],export processing zone [EPZ],free trade zones [FTZ] units.

2.Abolition of the Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT).

3.Continuation with temporary excise duty exemption.

4.Tax concessions on investments made by national pension scheme trust in equity.

5.Abolition of commodity transaction tax.

6.Support to stock and commodity trading and several others.

Initially a dip in corporate exaggerated expectation (of more privatisation & more liberalisation) turned out, ultimately,a much happier section at the end of the day.

In this colossally hierarchical society,where the government should empathize with the weaker section of the society…..the UPA’s budget has cut taxes for the elites---those with an annual income exceeding Rs10lakhs will be exempted from paying 10% surcharge on personal income tax.

With the gargantuan fiscal deficit,the erroneous budget has successfully passed the pressure on to the “aam admi” while the “khas aadmi” is still at the blessings of the UPA.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

iraqi democracy...yet to be commenced?

well, its good to find the u.s troops ultimately retreating from iraq after six years and three months search for weapons of mass destruction(WMD) .with the first priority of obama's administration now being afghanistan,the 'military surge' planned by george bush, to combat the challenges posed by the iraqi resistance force, has undergone a set a consequence to which prime minister Nouri al-maliki declared a national holiday on june 30,decked the walls with festoons proclaiming "national sovereignty day" & "independence day".

though maliki portraying the troops withdrawl as the "end of the american occupation" entirely belying the fact that still thousands of soldiers,military contractors,trainers will remain embedded with the iraqi soldiers,though the radical shia cleric claims the scene as a"mere media event",though the u.s army commander showing up article 27 of the status of forces agreement (SOFA) {which states that the u.s forces can undertake any military action against any sort of internal upheavals or external aggression} as a plausible reason for the elongation of the stay period of u.s forces for another 10 to 15 years...the current trend of outward movement of u.s occupation in iraq must have brought succor to the millions of people displaced [under the banner of "iraq's refugees" during the america's invasion in 2003,which according to united nation estimation is around 4.7 million iraqis--the 2nd biggest in the region after 1998],& also to those iraqis middle class who until now have been preferring to work abroad/ reside in the refugee camps as the country still lacks electricity,water and sanitation service [after being ruled by the vigilant u.s and u.s backed government for over a conspicuous period of time].

according to 73% of all iraqis oppose the presence of foreign troops on their washington is diplomatically making maliki to buckle under pressure,so that no referendum is held (as was proposed)...which may eventually annul SOFA and compel the u.s troops to accelerate its process of evacuating iraq much before the scheduled 2011.

Friday, July 17, 2009

aftershock.....and shock after shock

i was aghast by the scenes of indiscriminate use of violence,all over in the streets of westbengal, by the party tormentors--- whether in remote areas like mongolkot or in the heartland of kolkata.people were perturbed by the site of partymen beating up the state police infront of them...depicting a picture of strangled city huffing and puffing under the continuous mayhem,extreme lawlessness and absolute crassness of a completely paralysed government.kolkata - the city of joy has now earned itself the title of city of shocks and aftershocks,the city of unpredictability...slowly drifting into the arenas of chaos and degeneration of standards.

there, a handful of armed cpm activists poured out their grievances on few of the congress MLAs (perfectly like hoodlums) in the slushy paddy field of mongolkot and here, in kolkata (-THE CAPITAL) in retaliation to which the loyal supporters of congress( who apparently practice fetishism to their leaders,and being directly/indirectly flared up by them) blocked roads,disrupted communication system,railway system,set public buses on fire (- a practice that they often do at the fall of their leader's hat ),brought the city life to a stand still at once...all that with no prior warning...common people (- the regular common prey to such incidents...or should i say 'accidents') were coerced to get off the buses and walk on foot,facilitating them to do "tandab" over it.thousands were left awaiting in the halted trains,in the vain hope of their goodsense to evoke,their humane sobriety to get out of slumber...hundreds oblivious of the main cause for the sudden rout and chaos were baffled and prayed for the govt. to take some legal steps to bring back normalcy or at least to draw some ceasefire so that they could return to their homes safely as of then...trying to forget forcibly the inanity of our state government.

after these what followed is the leaders of the congress announcing bandh at will,the next all's surprise buddha's government took no effort to restrict/mitigate the massacre nor it was seen extending any of its generous help to its people by making the statebuses and the trums to get on the road!!cpm leader and a maverick minister subhash chakroborty was heard saying that they don't want more state properties to fall prey to the hoodlums of the opposition...indirectly signifying the ruling party's submission to them and invited derision over the stand of their party.and so these equipments (which to my knowledge,at least, are the state government's prerogative) failed to provide any assistance to those common man who had to go to their work places...police remained as mere spectators when private cars were slammed,windows were shattered...not even tried to dissuade the vandals from committing assault on the common people...
therefore once again our govt. and its machineries reiterated their inefficiency in bare terms...

"police failed to assess the situation before hand..."was all what our honorable C.M had to answer to the mongolkot question...
but the question that comes next to it in our mind is "why" ..."why do our police and intelligence fail terribly each time to foretell the situation?" "why do they fail to ensure the safety of the general public during such atrocities that actually owe its birth entirely to the miserable failure of their duties?" but as usual these were left unanswered. because,we know, its the dirty game of politics that has actually made the state police the most ineffective,callous department of westbengal.

the next shock meted out by the people of bengal was to find the buddaha's govt. proclaiming the abrogation of Salim's highway project (connecting raichak to barasat{actually linking haldia port --to-- dumdum airport}, which could have been a breakthrough in the projects of industrilisation undertaken as the principle motto of buddha's regime,as we all know how a well-knit communication network serve the cause of rapid multiplication of the country's economy) as the only bold step taken by Him in these couple of days.

the ransacked kolkata's wrecked view at the end of the day was implying more carnage to be followed...

when government buses were being set ablaze one after the other ... The one time municipal chairman, Subrata mukherjee,congress working president, seemed pretty glad and content to discover his biceps getting toned subsequently and perhaps must have raised his collar too.his remark clearly displayed his pleasure in seeing the resurgence of congress (& its muscle power) in the state.until now, all the strikes,road blockage and all anti-cpm indecent activities in the state were carried out by trinomool with mamata taking the center stage.congress with its 'hand' used to provide moral support to them.but today the victorious congress rejoicing for its taking on the state administration [though not legally] and so Mr.Mukherjee triumphantly remarked, "Today's show indicates that all is not lost for our party"!!!