Archive for August 2008

chiranjeevi new party “Praja Rajyam” manifesto leaked

August 26, 2008

Chiranjeevi is yet to announce his party name today and release his agenda. But here is a comprehensive mail sent by greatandhra.com reader Dr Arun Kumar who states that the below is the proposed party manifesto of Padmabhushan Dr Chiranjeevi.

Governance Reforms
The government has to reveal comprehensive Good Governance Reforms, which will focus on:

  • Administrative reforms to check corruption promote transparency and accountability; remove delays in decision-making; and to make government employees treat the people as their masters.
  • Electoral reforms to check the unhealthy influence of money power and prevent criminalization of politics. Debarring of noted criminals and history sheeters from contesting elections.
  • Judicial reforms for speedy and affordable justice.
  • Compulsory institution of judicial enquiry into every incident of communal carnage, massacre of oppressed rural poor, indiscriminate police-firing or fake encounter.
  • Good Corporate Governance reforms to ensure lawful and ethical business practices, protection of shareholders’ interests, and consumer protection.
  • Granting of separate statehood to Telangana and effective regional autonomy to the state or formation of a second States Reorganization Commission to consider the statehood:
  • Ensuring equitable access to quality education, healthcare, and employment opportunities to every citizen irrespective of his or her circumstances of birth.
  • Eliminating societal discrimination based on caste and creed, and providing genuine opportunities for vertical growth to all sections of society.
  • Ensuring access to speedy and affordable justice to all sections of society and restoring the rule of law.

Agriculture
The Government should gives highest priority to agriculture, since it is the mainstay of India’s overall development. The main objectives would be:

Bring vibrancy to the rural economy.
Increase the access of our farmers to markets, to competitive sources of finance, and to knowledge that allows them to compete in a global economy.
Make Andhra Pradesh the “Food Factory” of India by producing high quality processed foods for global markets.

Agricultural Workers
Resources for agricultural Research &Development will be given importance. Its focus on new yield-enhancing and cost-reducing agriculture practices, new seeds, etc. To close the gap between the “Lab to Land” and agriculture universities, agri-business companies, farmers’ organizations. Opportunities for education and training in agriculture and allied activities will be vastly expanded. The aim will be to ensure that every farmer undergoes some training or participates in some farm-education program every year.

Effective steps will be taken to ensure rural housing for below poverty line people. They will be brought under the social security scheme for unorganized workers and the proposed.

Agricultural Markets
The present system of setting Minimum Support Prices by the Commission on Agricultural Costs and Prices will be reviewed to further benefit all farmers.

2. The present system of procurement through the Food Corporation of India will be revamped to make it cheaper to buy, store, transport, and export food grains.

3. A chain of farmers’ markets, on the pattern of “Ryuthu Bazaar” in Andhra Pradesh will be established throughout the state, where farmers can sell directly to customers.

Animal husbandry and Fisheries

Animal husbandry, which provides full and partial employment, will be fully promoted to achieve the ends of rural prosperity and social justice. State Cattle Development Board will be set up with adequate budgetary support. Among other things, it will prepare a program for improvement of livestock breeds, with a major thrust on genetic improvement of indigenous cattle, buffalo, and other animals linked to the rural economy. Establishment of Goshalas will be encouraged.

Fisheries and Aquaculture committee will be set up for promoting all-round development of marine and inland fisheries, and speedy socio-economic progress of fishermen. Deep sea fishing industry (fisherman community) will be developed to take advantage of Andhra long coastline and its exclusive economic zone. Fishermen’s cooperatives will be helped to modernize their trawlers, set up cold storages and processing plants, and establish direct linkages with domestic and foreign markets.

Farmer’s debt wave
Instead of wasting funds on attractive schemes, government should create a ‘seed capital’ at the state level to provide loans to farmers at a nominal interest, to meet all their needs – be it agriculture, marketing, promotion of value addition to produce, remunerative price, education or health needs.

Irrigation
1. Completion of all the ongoing irrigation projects (major, medium, and minor) within five years to create irrigation for all land.

2. Mandatory community participation in planning, execution, and maintenance of irrigation projects through mechanisms such as Water Users’ Associations. 

3. A campaign will be launched to encourage drip irrigation, sprinkler irrigation and greenhouse technology. Land under these water-efficient systems will be increased five-fold in five years.

4. Adequate supply of quality power will be ensured to all farmers.

5. Leasing in and leasing out of lands within farmers would be permitted through enabling legislation.
 
Finance
Greater Plan Funds shall be earmarked for agriculture, irrigation, rural development and allied areas.

A Task Force will be set up to recommend, within the first six months, policy and institutional measures to promote private sector investment in agriculture, especially in small and medium-scale irrigation projects, farm R&D, human resource development, and marketing. Public and private investments, as well as investments by farmers themselves, will be synergized through partnerships. It needs to be underscored that private investment in agriculture does not mean corporate farming.

Timely and adequate farm credit to farmer is as important as timely and adequate water for his crops. Therefore, steps will be taken to ensure enhanced credit flow to the sector, make credit affordable at interests lower, eliminate procedural delays, and introduce greater competition in credit delivery. The process of giving all eligible farmers to Credit Card. Card-holders will be able to use ATM facility wherever it exists. The main aim will be to create a well-developed farm credit system, which will end the need for farmers to go to money lenders.

The Government will give priority attention to strengthening cooperative banks and other cooperative credit institutions.

Full support will be provided for setting up cold storages, godowns, grain banks, and fodder banks. Farmers keeping their produce in accredited godowns/grain banks will be entitled to avail bank credit
 

Special Economic Zones
The Government has to demand that monetary ‘compensation’ at current market prices is insufficient to farmers who part with their lands for SEZs. A depreciating asset like money can never adequately compensate for the loss of land, which is an appreciating asset. Land losers experience relative deprivation as land values skyrocket following SEZ development, and their neighbors benefit from their sacrifice.

Addition to the normal compensation, the land owner be allotted a part of the developed land in the SEZ. This could be about 10% in industrial projects, and 20% in infrastructure projects. With huge real estate boom, even 10-20% of the land would fetch the owner multiple returns relative to the original compensation. Such equity stakes will make SEZs attractive to the land losers.

Displaced persons should be imparted skills and absorbed in projects coming up in SEZs as far as practicable. In 1985-86, 8000 youngsters from families displaced by the Visakhapatnam Steel Project were trained and absorbed in the steel plant. A national program of skilling unemployed youth is overdue in any case, and SEZs should be the starting point. Once SEZs provide local employment, much of the resistance will disappear.

SEZs can be integrated in local governments, even as their autonomy is assured. Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation in 1996 handed over the management of industrial estates to local entrepreneurs, with the right to collect service charges. The industrial estate, in turn, transferred 30% of the charges raised to the municipality. In effect, the industrial township subsidized the municipality while quality of services and local autonomy were protected. Such an innovation would be ideal for SEZs.

Economic Reforms
1. Tax evasion and corruption will be reduced through administrative measures and end-to-end computerization of the entire tax system. All shops and commercial establishments will be encouraged, through appropriate incentives, to make their transactions computer-based in three years.

2. There shall be a single destination to electronically pay all taxes and regulatory charges-whether Central, State, or local-for all classes of business.

Financial Sector Reforms
1. All currently proposed financial sector reforms in banking, insurance will be completed within the next.
 
2. The principal aim of reforms in the banking sector will be to bring efficient banking services to the doorstep of every customer. To achieve this, greater competition will be created by extending the reach of Public Sector banks and expanding the activities of private banks.
 
Environment
The party should view on the depletion environmental assets with great concern. The party has to believe that sustainable development is possible with the effective protection of all our environmental assets.

Building on the recent achievement in increasing forest cover, further measures will be taken to promote afforestation, social forestry and agro forestry. Districts where depletion has reached critical levels will receive greater attention. Community Forest Management, which institutionalizes community partnership, will be further strengthened.

Environment impact assessment of for development projects and industrial clusters will be strengthened.

Vehicular pollution will be controlled by stringent standards on all motor vehicles at the manufacturing stage itself and by promoting the use of clean fuels.

Education
Total spending on education will be raised, with enlarged public-private partnership at every level of the educational pyramid.

Literacy rate of 75% will be achieved in next five years. Our vision is to see that society becomes fully literate. For this, the government has to launch a multi-pronged campaign to ensure that every child goes to school, every school is made accountable to the community, and every village and town is made accountable for its quality education status. Appropriate resources both from Government and non-government sources will be mobilized to match our ambitious goals.

Spread of education among SCs, STs, OBCs, and minorities, and activities aimed at removing gender disparities in education at all levels, will receive increased support.

The entire school and college education system will be overhauled and made employment-oriented. Opportunities for skill development and vocational training will be maximized.

No student would be deprived of access to higher education for lack of resources. Scholarships and soft loans would be made widely available to all needy students. A state Education Development Fund will be established for this purpose.

The focus on Andhra culture, heritage, and ethical values in syllabi will be strengthened.

Establishment of hostels, especially for women’s education, will be encouraged.

Administration of our educational institutions will be freed of bureaucrats. Community participation in managing their activities and monitoring their performance will be encouraged.

School Education
Every child, irrespective of caste, gender and economic status shall have free, good quality English education up to 12th class.

An elementary school with at least five class rooms and teachers for every 3000 population with mid-day meals.

A play school within the locality for all pre-school children with nutrition, play, healthcare, and early concepts.

A high school for classes 6th -12th with adequate infrastructure, free bus facility where necessary, broadband connectivity and other facilities for every 10,000 population.

Participation of non-profit private institutions where necessary, with full public funding on per-student basis.

English as a language from 1st grade, and mother-tongue as medium of instructions for the first five years. Gradual shift to English as medium of instruction from 6th grade. Proficiency in English by 10th grade.

No distinction between a private school and government school in medium of instruction, quality of education and basic facilities.

A strong and effective school inspection system.

Teachers will be freed from all non-academic work

Empowerment of teachers, stake-holders and local governments’ combination should go

Local-specific, problem-solving, skill-imparting education from 9th to 12th grades.

11th and 12th grades as a part of schooling, and no separate junior colleges.
 
Higher Education
Every young person who is worthy and keen shall have access to quality higher education irrespective of gender, race and creed.

Subsidies, scholarships and soft loans to all poor students to meet costs of higher education.

Some percentage of marks weight age based on genuine indices of backwardness like rural upbringing, poverty, parental education and the quality of schooling.

Close links with local community and industry.

High quality, meaningful research.

Full autonomy to universities and colleges.

Focus on employment and placement.

Health
At present, hospitalized health care accounted for more than half (58%) of Indians’ total annual expenditure on healthcare. As a consequence, more than 40 per cent of those hospitalized borrow money or sell assets to cover expenses. At least one quarter of hospitalized Indians fall below poverty line because of hospital expenses. 

Public-private partnership programmes to ensure universal and free hospitalized care in Andhra Pradesh. Provide free hospital care for all Patients’ choice of hospitals, reimbursement only for services rendered, at the heart of bold new plan. The program, estimated to cost Rs.3000 core a year, guarantees hospital care to every citizen as a matter of right irrespective of his or her income status. Unlike other programs, it is not limited to those below the poverty line.

The following are the highlights of the proposals:

The patients will be given an option to get admitted in a hospital of their choice and the money will ‘follow the patient’

Every patient will be given a health card and the utilization of services will be recorded on patient cards. At the end of the month, hospitals (public or private) will claim reimbursements from the Government on the basis of services provided to in-patients

Hospitals will be funded only by way of reimbursement of costs for services rendered. The coverage of private hospitals will exclude out-patient care

To effectively combat the menace of corruption, the proposal includes creation of institutions such as a District Health Fund and a District Ombudsman

Proposals will seek to involve both Government hospitals and private facilities equally in providing quality care at Government cost. In addition, private practitioners can utilize government hospitals for practice, and claim reimbursements for the services rendered.

A patient need not pay any deposit or a premium since it is not an insurance program. Every individual will be entitled for free health care whenever he/she is admitted to hospital. Such an approach is based on the premise that people living in this country are entitled for free health care as citizens paying taxes.

Once an individual receives a Health Card, s/he will not have to visit any Government office. All that an individual has to do is to carry the health card with him/her when getting admitted in a hospital. The hospital authorities (public or private) will claim reimbursements at the end of every month. All medical expenses of in-patients will be covered by the program. These include in-patient charges, medication, diagnostic tests and surgeries. In case of public hospitals, out-patient care will be included. This program is not targeted at specific diseases. All common aliments will be covered. Rare diseases involving high cost care will be separately dealt with through a tertiary care program.

Andhra Pradesh Government’s ‘Aarogyasri’ addresses only a few rare diseases that people are vulnerable to, which is a small portion of the disease burden. It targets people suffering from a limited number of illnesses like those affecting heart, brain and kidney or cancer or but not ordinary ailments, which account for most of the disease burden. It ignores maternity care, infectious diseases, routine surgeries and general ailments, and non-surgical interventions.

As of September 1, 2007, only 3841 people had undergone surgical procedures under AarogyaSri, while 60 lakh people are sliding below the poverty line every year in the State because of health care costs. ‘Aarogyasri’ benefited only corporate hospitals, as 95% of the cases were treated in big corporate hospitals. Most of the private practitioners and nursing homes providing low-cost, good-quality care are not utilized. Instead, expensive hospitals are involved in providing high cost care for a few selective aliments. Andhra Pradesh has an estimated 40,000 well-trained private allopathic practitioners.

Chiranjeevi Party’s would seek proposals to mobilize all resources available in the State to ensure that every one gets quality health care at Government cost. A strong preventive primary health care programme, and high-quality health infrastructure in public sector will be the foundation of this programme of universal healthcare. Primary health centres will be strengthened and brought under local government control. A community Hospital of 50 beds will be built for every 1,00,000 population. (At present we only have one for every 4,00,000). All district and Teaching Hospitals will be improved substantially.

Health for All
The “Save the Girl Child” campaign will be further popularized.

The spread of HIV/AIDS will be checked on a war footing. Care and support for AIDS patients will be undertaken hand-in-hand with efforts for the prevention of the disease.

The ageing population needs special care. The government hospitals will have special facilities for healthcare of senior citizens.

A mass movement will be launched for increasing awareness about health issues like blood donation and making citizens take good care of themselves by cultivating healthy habits and lifestyles; towards this end, a strong physical and sports culture will be promoted among people of all age-groups.

Rural Development;
Village electrification will be completed by first five years through an accelerated implementation of the program to cover households and 1 lakh villages.

All villages will have primary health centers within the village, dispensaries within five to eight kilometers, and referral hospitals within twenty kilometers.

Physical connectivity, which includes good roads and power supply

Rural Sanitation
Lack of safe drinking water and sanitation is the cause of 70% of all diseases and ailments. 67% of Andhra Pradesh’s rural population and 22% of our urban population has no access to toilets. This is a source of embarrassment and discontent among the youth, especially young women.

The Total Sanitation programme should launch by the party after formation of the government. Necessary funds will be mobilized to ensure that programmes will be fully implemented in five years, ensuring that all the uncovered rural households will have access to basic sanitation either their own or community-owned. There shall be no Anganwadi centre or rural/urban school without water and toilet facilities. Priority will be given to girls’ schools and schools in tribal and remote areas.

Drinking water
All the existing rural drinking water supply schemes would be brought under the common programme and making them “demand-driven” rather than “supply-driven” to ensure their long-term sustainability. Adequate funds will be mobilized for its enlarged implementation with the following commitments:

Earlier schemes did not have an in-built mechanism for people’s participation, Panchayat ownership, and bureaucratic accountability. A community-based program for water quality monitoring would be initiated; Panchayats would be given incentives for rainwater harvesting, raising ground-water levels, and augmentation and cleaning up of water sources such as village ponds, wells, rivulets, etc.

Housing
The Government should work on “Housing for All “.

Banks will be encouraged to extend housing loans with low interest rates to rural populations.

A new program will be launched to enable people with kutcha houses in rural areas to upgrade them into pucca houses.

Cities will be encouraged to take up large-scale mass housing projects for the poor and middle classes.

Employment Generation
The government will be committed to the goal of eradicating unemployment. Government will continue to follow a strategy of accelerated economic growth, which is capable of generating gainful employment for all those who can work.

Many young people are finding jobs and self-employment in different service sectors in not just big cities but also in small towns. These are not jobs in the traditional sense, but they offer opportunities and new challenges for personal growth. Government has to fully support this trend through necessary policy and institutional measures, including through provision of social security to people in the unorganized sector.

In rural areas these are: agriculture and agro-processing, wasteland development, agro-forestry, social forestry, dairy, poultry, animal husbandry, cottage industries, self-help groups, housing and road construction, transportation, etc.

In urban areas, the government has to promote employment, self-employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in retail trade, housing and construction, food, transportation, tourism, services in the informal sector, IT, manufacturing, garments, entertainment, financial services, education and training, etc.

Social Justice and Empowerment
A Monitoring Committee for Elimination of Social Disparities will be set up to focus on social and economic justice for SCs, STs, OBCs, denotified and nomadic tribes, and the poor among forward classes and minorities.

The government will implement PESA act in Scheduled areas (Tribal areas)

1/70 act will strictly implement in tribal areas. Regularization of land rights of tribals living on forest land and promotion of their livelihood activities based on forest produce, if necessary by suitable amendments in the forest laws.

Functioning of Commissions and Finance Corporations for the development of SCs and STs; and BCs will be improved.

Laws to check atrocities against SCs, STs, and other weaker sections will be strictly enforced.

Reservations for the poor among “Forward Classes” will be introduced after receiving recommendations of the Commission set up for this purpose.

Minorities
A Minorities Development programmes will be implemented in the areas of Education, Economic upliftment, and Empowerment.

The government will give unprecedented encouragement to the promotion of Urdu language and to the modernization of Madarasa education.

A concentrated effort will be made to increase minorities’ representation in administration and public bodies.

Reservation (up to 5%) will be implemented in educational and employment fields.

Women’s Empowerment
Laws to check female foeticide, dowry, child marriage, trafficking, rape and family violence will be strictly enforced. Societal efforts to curb these ills will be encouraged.

Children
The government has to commit to securing a bright future for children. A state level Commission for Children will be set up to comprehensively address the issues of education, healthcare, nutrition, recreation, removal of gender disparities, elimination of child labor, integrated care and rehabilitation of orphans and street children, etc. It will put the aspirations and rights of children at the heart of our development agenda. 

Sports
The government has to aim to make Andhra Pradesh as a major sports power. Greater support will be provided for the promotion of traditional Indian sports and rural transports.

Empowerment of Panchayats
The government has to work for effective financial and administrative empowerment of Panchayat Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies in respect of three Fs: “Funds”, “Functions”, and “Functionaries”.

The institution of the Gram Sabha will be strengthened to discuss every developmental work, scrutinize the allocation and spending of funds, and evaluate the performance of Panchayat and government functionaries.

Self-help Groups
Self-Help Groups in Andhra Pradesh are already a big success story. Over 6 lakh SHGs have been formed so far, providing bank-supported micro-finance to their members. Women’s SHGs, have been particularly successful in increasing family incomes of the rural and urban poor and in advancing the cause of women’s economic empowerment. They also have the best record in repaying bank loans.

Building on the experience so far, Government have to prepare an action plan to promote SHGs as a people’s movement for participatory economic development. Innovative partnerships between SHGs, NGOs, banks, and markets will created. The private sector will be involved in a big way.

Advertisements

Fans flock Tirupati for Chiranjeevi’s party

August 26, 2008

All roads in Andhra Pradesh seemed to lead to Tirupati on Tuesday with thousands of vehicles as well as special trains and buses ferrying fans from across the state to hear Telugu superstar Chiranjeevi announce the name and policies of his political party.

Chiranjeevi, who arrived in Tirupati in the morning along with his family members, will address an expected crowd of one million at the Avilala tank bed in the evening.

The actor was given a rousing reception by his fans at the Renigunta airport near here. Accompanied by wife Surekha and son, actor Ramcharan Teja, Chiranjeevi drove straight to the Lord Venkateshwara temple on Tirumala Hills to seek divine blessings before formally launching his political career.

The actor, who announced his entry into politics on Aug 17, will declare the name and agenda of his ‘pro-poor’ party, which may alter the political equations in the southern state ahead of the March 2009 elections.

The temple town is teeming with huge crowds, including a large number of physically challenged and women fans of the actor. Slogans of ‘Jai Chiranjeeva’ rent the air as the thousands of fans stepped off at the railway station and bus stops. Hotels, lodges, guest houses and function halls have been booked as well.

The railways have operated 18 special trains while state-owned Road Transport Corporation is running 1,500 buses. Thousands of private vehicles are also ferrying Chiranjeevi’s fans from different parts of the state. The majority of the people are coming from coastal Andhra as the actor hails from the region.

The town is decked up with huge cutouts of the actor and banners hailing his entry into politics. Hoardings showing the actor in different moods have been erected on every road.

Chiru, as the actor is popularly known, will alone hog the limelight during the massive show of strength planned in true filmi style. He is also expected to be the lone speaker at the three-hour meeting, scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.

The organisers, however, are worried about the likelihood of rain with the monsoon active across the state.

The met department has forecast rain at Tirupati and few other places in Rayalseema.

Massive security arrangements have been made for the meeting, termed as one of the biggest political shows in recent years. Over 3,000 policemen are being deployed at the venue besides an equal number of volunteers of Chiru Rashtra Yuvatha (youth wing).

Adding another filmi touch to the mega event, the organisers have hired two helicopters. A chopper will shower flower petals on the venue, while another will record the event, beaming it across 70 huge LCD screens deployed around the area.

Chiru, who turned 53 last Friday, has bid adieu to his three-decade film career and has decided to dedicate his life to serve the poor and the needy. It is in this context that he decided to launch the party on Aug 26, the birth anniversary of Mother Teresa.

Chiru’s party is expected to emerge as a major political force in the state. His fans see him as the next chief minister and feel he would emerge as powerful as matinee idol N.T. Rama Rao, who changed the course of Andhra politics by coming to power within nine months after launching the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 1982.

Courtesy :- NDTV