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  Home >> 11th five year plan  >> Responses to the approach paper to the 11th five year plan

 
 
 Comments invited on next Five Year Plan
 

 

 

1.3.(a) the challenge is stated; and it is admitted that there is no accountability on the part of the service providers.  The document should state categorically how this accountability is planned to be brought about, and the poor are provided with service and not with words.

 

3.5.(i) the scenario depicted of our cities and slums is admittedly true.  Improving the infrastructure in cities may be one of the solutions, especially as the document keeps reminding of the impression it will make on foreign investors.  Perhaps an equal emphasis needs to be placed on rural infrastructure development, so that the cities do not get flooded with migrations from the rural areas.

 

The vision embodied in 4.2.(c) and (d) is really laudable.

 

5.1. it is encouraging to note that the document contains the  makings of income earning opportunities for the poor, coupled with elements of social safety net .  in essence it is there even now; what is lacking is the political will to find new ways and means to ensure these to the poor.

5.3. urban rural divide takes into account the unequal distribution of inputs in the sectors.  While emphasising agricultural  growth as stimulating the economy, what should not be forgotten is what goes into agricultural growth vis-à-vis environmental implications, long term produce of the earth, and health of those who consume the agricultural products.   The 11th plan should encourage and promote natural farming, natural pesticides and natural manure, so that the health of citizens does not become a pawn in the name of agricultural growth.

 

5.6. projects and restrictive laws need to be targeted on those states with  gender disparity, to begin with, in numbers.  Gender inequality will deepen if disparity in numbers is pronounced.

The document speaks of “feminisation of  agriculture and menial employment”.  It is a shame that it appears in such a solemn document.  What the country may need is more of a (equal) masculinisation of menial employment  so that the mind set of men undergoes a change.  Menial employment should not be the private prerogative of women, as if men cannot do menial work.  What is needed more is enforcement of equal pay for equal work, which, though in theory exists, does not become practised.

 

6.3. the document speaks often about community and civic bodies’ involvement in planning programmes, as a sure means for sustainability and ownership.  It is creditable.  Can the document envisage practical ways of remunerating the communities and civic bodies for the time, effort and technical inputs they give?  This is a sure way to make the panchayati raj and local institutions function with a purpose, with due credit being given to their efforts.  This will also bring about quite a trimming of the behemoth which is the govt.machinery.  it is not just that the communities get involved and spend their time and energy to plan, implement and sustain the programmes without pay, while others get paid for doing less or nothing.

 

6.4. it is indeed promising that the document speaks about monitoring outcomes rather than outlays.  It goes on to speak of effective project work.  It is necessary that the document looks into EFFICIENT ways of spending and consequent monitoring of the outlay.  An outcome may come about as planned, it may also be effective;  a critical question, however, persists as to how efficient the project was.  Could more have been achieved? Could less have been spent to achieve the same results?  It needs to start with efficient ways of planning.

dr.george m fernandez
regional manager-south, wateraid india
gitanjali paradise, I floor
apartment #102, rahat bagh
nagavarpalya, bangalore 560 093.
tel.080-25240703/4




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