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