Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Don't drive a wedge between people of Tamil and Simhala origin in Sri Lanka - RSS

TUESDAY, MARCH 20, 2012  Press Release by RSS Prantha Sanghachalak Ma. M L Raja, Uttar Tamilnadu  Ma. M L Raja, State President of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Uttar Tamilnadu, addressed the press conference at Chennai on 20.3.2012. He briefed the press with the resolutions passed at the Akhila Bharatha Pradinidhi Sabha Bitak, Nagpur. He also briefed on the statement issued by Sarkarywah Sri Bhayyaji Joshi on the issue of new evidence of atrocities against civilian Tamils in Sri Lanka.   Dr. M L Raja, Prantha Sanghachalak (Uttar Tamilnadu), Sri Sadagopan, Prantha Prachar Pramukh (Uttar Tamilnadu)  STATEMENT ISSUED BY SARKARYAVAH SRI BHAYYAJI JOSHI ON THE ISSUE OF NEW EVIDENCE OF ATROCITIES AGAINST CIVILIAN TAMILS IN SRI LANKA  The new evidence highlighted by sections of media points to large scale violation of human rights in Sri Lanka during the final stages of the conflict in the North of the island. Gory visuals of innocent civilian Tamils being victimized in large numbers are quite disturbing and call for all-round condemnation.  The RSS had always held that innocent civilians shouldn’t be made to suffer in the conflict of Sri Lanka and the Tamils, as equal citizens of that country, should be able to enjoy all legitimate rights along with the remaining Simhala people.  We call upon the Sri Lanka government to do the utmost to alleviate the sufferings of the Tamils in that country and also ensure proper rehabilitation, security and political rights to them.  Lasting peace will return to Sri Lanka only when the government amply addresses the Tamil population’s grievances and concerns. It is also imperative that attempts to throw a wedge between the people of Tamil and Simhala origin must be defeated.  The Government of India should take appropriate position on the issue on the international forums keeping these sentiments in mind

Mukul Roy is the New Union Railway Minister

Shri Mukul Roy has been sworn in as the new Union Railway Minister here today. Prior to this, Shri Roy was the Minister of State for the Ministry of Shipping since 28th May 2009 onwards. He also served earlier as Minister of State for Railways.

Shri Mukul Roy of All India Trinamool Congress was elected to Rajya Sabha in April 2006. During his Parliamentary career, Shri Roy was Member, Committee on Urban Development and Member of Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Home Affairs during August 2006 to May 2009. Shri Roy was Permanent Special Invitee, Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Railways during April 2008 to May 2009.

During his long career as politician and social worker, Shri Mukul Roy actively participated in various cultural activities, viz drama and quiz, served in various community development projects including eradication of illiteracy, providing free education to the poor, training of civil defence etc, participated in scouting activities under Bharat Scouts and Guides and took part in their regular camps. He has also taken active interest in inter-school science exhibitions. As a social worker, Shri Roy was Non-Executive Director, United Bank of India during 2002 to 2005. He took interest in football matches and one day cricket matches.

UPA lacks gumption for tough budget

The Budget Session commenced with the Prime Minister appealing to all political parties to work together and cooperate in meeting the challenges facing the nation. Any other time, his statesmanship would have earned him laurels, but post the recent electoral debacle, it is the appeal of a weak government walking the coalition tightrope trying to pacify its belligerent allies and conscious that the Opposition will do whatever they can to exploit the situation. Add to this our fiscal deficit, inflation, stalled growth and it makes the job of even the most experienced finance minister unenviable. In such circumstances, what should be the Government’s priority and what does the future hold for economic reforms?
Conventional wisdom suggests that now is the time to reduce expenditure and cut down subsidies, especially on fertilisers and fuel. Tax receipts also need to be increased and given that the goods and services tax (GST) has been stalled by the Opposition, other tax reforms like enlarging the service tax net should be adopted. But Mamata Banerjee, UPA’s mercurial ally, has threatened that any increase in prices is unacceptable. So-much-so, that Banerjee is livid at her party nominated Railway Minister for having nominally increased passenger fares – the first hike in eight years – that she has demanded that he either roll-back the hike or resign. This warning, when the Railways Minister states that the hike is in the interest of the railways and will give meaning to a vision document authored by Banerjee during her term as Rail Minister demonstrates that she is daggers drawn and relentless.
No doubt, the Railway Budget is a pre-cursor to what one can expect from the Finance Minister and a tough Budget is perhaps the necessary bitter pill. But in the existing hostile political environment, a tough Budget means political risk that a weak government with an eye on the next Parliamentary elections is unlikely to take. In fact, confronted with the threat of survival, it is doubtful that the Government will introduce any economic policy measures that may lead to a face-off. Hence, regardless of the benefits associated with permitting foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail, or increasing foreign investment caps in certain sectors or the necessity of pension reforms, it appears that the Government may be weary of introducing any such initiatives. Politics today is about numbers and the Government is unlikely to introduce any policy measures for which it doesn’t already have the sanction or which it cannot pass with its current political numbers.
Thus, viewed from most perspectives, reforms will unfortunately get relegated to the backseat. Over the next few months, Government functioning will confirm that economic policy is very closely linked to politics. The reality is that what’s good for the country isn’t always good for political parties, since it doesn’t translate into votes. The Government knows well that a weak and defensive approach will expose it to further attacks. Bold measures can enhance its dwindling credibility and with the Government having little to loose, we would all want it to take decisions in the national interest. But as Winston Churchill said, “It would be a great reform in politics if wisdom could be made to spread as easily and as rapidly as folly.”
Vatavaran Ate Samaj Bachaao Morcha
Convention on Peoples Charter on Public Health & Environment Governance 
Vatavaran Ate Samaj Bachao Morcha (VSBM), an alliance of more than 100 civil society organizations working on environmental and social causes in Punjab is organizing a State Level Convention on the subject of “Peoples  Charter on Health & Environment Governance",  VSBM represents voice of concerned social forces which include Kheti Virasat Mission, Nature Human Centric People’s Movement, Internationalist Democratic Party, United Communist Party of India, Phagwara Environment Association, Association for Democratic Rights, Indian Doctors for Peace and Development, Environmental Health Action Group, Eco Sikh, Election Watch Punjab; Punjabi Sath;  Jan Sakhsam, Ludhiana ;  Sehat aty Vatavaran Society, Patiala; Environment Society , Mansa and Scientific Awareness Forum , Sangrur and others.
Hon'able Health Minister Punjab Shri Madan Mohan Mittal shall receive People's Charter on Health
  Dignified Speakers
Eminent Socialist thinker and activist Vijay Partap , Delhi and Anil Hegde , Socialist Front
Gyani Kewal Singh , Former Jathedar , Takht Sri Damdma Sahib , Talwandi Sahib
Umendra Dutt, Kheti Virasat Mission
Dr Amar Singh Azad, Community Medicine Expert
Sukhdev Singh Bhopal , Nature Human Centric People's Movement
Karnail Singh Jakhepal , Internationalist Democratic Party
Charan Gill , UCPI
Dr G P I Singh, Environmental Health Action Group 
Dr Parmod Kumar , Chairman, Governance Reform Commission  , GoP.
Date: 22nd March, 2012, Thursday           Time: 10:00 am to 02:00 pm
Venue: Law Bhawan, Sec-37, Chandigarh
Looking forward:
 Neeraj Attri                       Gaurav Goel, Advocate              Dr. Sushil Mudgal,    Bharat Swabhimaan Trust         Punjab & Haryana High Court                    Daanish Foundation
    94171111427                                     9888370000                                             9872168178     

Rajya Sabha today witnessed noisy scenes during the question hour with the opposition members protesting against media reports on fall in the poverty levels. As soon as the House met for the day, opposition members were on their feet to raise the matter for a debate. Amidst protests, Mr S S Ahluwalia of the BJP said that attempts are being made to end the poverty line and begin starvation line in the country. Responding to this, the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Rajiv Shukla said the members can raise the issue during the discussion on Union Budget beginning tomorrow. He said if the members still want a response, he would request the Planning Minister to respond. Later, the House took up the questions listed for the day.

Going by the controversial daily consumption number of Rs 28.65 per day, one out of every three Indian is poor as per the new Planning Commission's estimates which have pegged the poverty ratio in 2009-10 at 29.8 pc, down from 37.2 pc in 2004-05
An individual above a monthly consumption of Rs 859.6 in urban cities and Rs 672.8 in rural areas (at pier 2009-10 prices) is not considered poor, says the Planning Commission's estimate based on the controversial Tendulkar Committee methodology.
The Plan panel has kept the poverty threshold in its recent estimates lower than Rs 32 per capita per day consumption in urban cities and Rs 26 in rural areas is provided last year which were based on June 2011 prices.
The Plan panel had said that, in its affidavit before the apex court that the "poverty line at June 2011 price level can be placed provisionally at Rs 965 (Rs 32 per day) per capita per month in urban areas and Rs 781 (Rs 26 per day) in rural areas.
The civil society had questioned this definition stating it was very low.As per estimates released today, the number of poor in India has declined to 34.47 crore in 2009-10 from 40.72 crore in 2004-05.The methodology recommended by the Tendulkar Committee includes spending on health and education, besides the calorie intake.Among religious groups, Sikhs have lowest poverty ratio in rural areas at 11.9 per cent, whereas in urban areas, Christians have the lowest proportion of poor at 12.9 per cent.Poverty ratio is the highest for Muslims, at 33.9 per cent, in urban areas.
Further, poverty in rural areas declined at a faster pace than in urban cities between 2004-05 and 2009-10.
The Union Budget 2012-13: Reform and Development Perspectives
Wednesday, March 21st, 2012, 2-5pm
India International Centre, Multipurpose Hall, New Wing
The Union Budget provides an annual and unique opportunity to focus attention on the Indian economy and how government policy affects the lives of India's billion plus people.
As we have done for the past five years, five of India’s leading economic policy research institutions will come together again this year to present their assessment of the Union Budget 2012-13.  The five institutes, CPR, ICRIER, IDF, NCAER, and NIPFP will join in a panel discussion to provide a more reflective review of the Budget and its implications for the Indian economy.  Mr. T. N. Ninan, Chairman of the Business Standard, will moderate the discussion.
The Union Budget this year is not only delayed because of state elections but will also be presented against the clear recognition that the government is off its fiscal targets.  While the advance estimate of GDP growth in 2011-12 of 6.9 percent will not be a surprise against the sluggish industrial output and investment conditions throughout the year, this slower growth is a source of deep concern against the continued fiscal-financial crisis in the Eurozone area and India’s huge poverty reduction agenda.  How will the economy return to high growth in a non-inflationary way?  How will economic policymaking and implementation manage the fiscal situation and increase the effectiveness of public expenditures, including addressing issues of governance that have beguiled public policy in recent years?
On behalf of our five institutions, it is our pleasure to invite you to this more considered discussion of Budget 2012-13 on Wednesday, 21th March, 2012, starting with lunch at 1:15 pm, followed by the Budget seminar from 2 to 5 pm.  Please join us for high tea after the seminar.  The venue is The India International Centre, Multipurpose Hall, New Wing, Max Mueller Marg.  
We look forward to your joining and contributing to what should be an exciting discussion.  An email to Ms. Sudesh Bala sbala@ncaer.org  or a call on 011-23452669 confirming your participation would be highly appreciated.
With kind regards,
Yours sincerely,
Having trouble viewing this email? click here

This message was sent to Nksagar_1@yahoo.com by info@istrat.in
Maldives President Waheed addresses the assembly amid chaos

Amidst opposition supporters picketing Parliament and violence on the streets, Maldives President Mohammed Waheed on Monday gave his maiden Presidential address saying he was open for early elections.

Vowing to uphold the constitution, Waheed delivered his his 15-minute address, during which he said he had no objection to early elections, provided all parties agree and necessary constitutional amendments are made.
"This is the time for all of us to work together in one spirit, the time to bring political differences to the discussion table in order to formulate solutions", said the President, who formally opened the Parliament today.
This was Waheed's second attempt to address the Parliament since he took office last month in a contentious power transfer.
Last time, the MPs of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) of ousted President Mohammed Nasheed had prevented Waheed from making his address on March 1.
Even today, violence broke out both inside and outside the Parliament.
Police used tear gas to disperse the demonstrators who clashed with them while the Parliament's security staff forcibly removed a number of MDP lawmakers who were trying to block Waheed from addressing the House.
Nasheed has called for early elections and has alleged he was forced to resign because of a coup, a charge denied by the current regime.
Interestingly, Waheed, who served as vice president under Nasheed, today took to microblogging site Twitter to express his frustration.
He said there was no excuse for the international community to ignore Anni's (Nasheed's) "anarchic behaviour". (ST-19/03)


Competitiveness, climate, security Finn’s priorities Ministry of Finance release Finnish road map of EU presidency. Finland i...