Policy Issues

Economic Survey 2014-15

BREAKING from tradition, the BJP-led NDA government has chosen to issue a two (as opposed to single)-volume edition of the Economic Survey, released as per convention on the day before the budget for coming fiscal year 2015-16 was presented. The Survey is meant to be a ‘state of the economy’ report that identifies the positives that can be leveraged and the negatives that need to be addressed when the finance minister rises to present his budget. It is as much an assessment of the situation as a justification of the direction that the budget would take.

‘NITI Aayog Has To Play a Pro-Active Role in The Planned Development of the Country’

Below is the text of the speech delivered by Manik Sarkar, chief minister of Tripura at the first meeting of the governing council of National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog on February 8, 2015 at New Delhi.

NITI Aayog, which has replaced the Planning Commission, should not push India towards a market-driven economy and privatisation in all spheres. Public resources should not be put at the disposal of the private sector and the market forces.

Draft Road Transport and Safety Bill Retrogative and Anti-people

THE All India Road Transport Workers’ Federation (AIRTWF) organised a two-day seminar-cum-workshop at Tirupati on December 6 and 7 to discuss the pros and cons of the Draft Road Transport and Safety Bill, 2014 and its implications. The meeting was hosted by the APSRTC Staff and Workers Federation and was attended by political leaders, transport experts and professionals, legal experts and representatives of state motor vehicle departments, besides federation members and leaders.

MAHARASHTRA: Massive CPI(M) March in Solapur on Housing Issue

MORE than 40,000 people marched in Solapur on December 24, 2014 under the banner of the CPI(M), demanding that the state government immediately sanction the proposed housing projects for the poor, along with the necessary budgetary allocations. This march started from the CPI(M) office at Datta Nagar and culminated at the district collector's office. Thousands of members of the housing projects participated. A huge number of them were women. The march was led by CPI(M) Central Committee member Narsayya Adam, ex-MLA.

Fight To Save & Strengthen MGNREGA In Favour Of The Workers

THE BJP which had promised the creation of jobs as its prime election slogan has openly declared war on MGNREGA, the only demand driven legal guarantee for employment of at least 100 days a year per family in rural India. The legislation, though poorly implemented, had brought some relief to the unemployed and underemployed rural poor. According to the Economic Survey presented by the BJP finance minister Arun Jaitley in June this year, under this legislation 4.5 crore households had been provided an average of 45 days work in 2013-2014 at an average daily wage of Rs 132.

Foreign Policy under NDA-2

THE world will be watching as the new BJP led government formulates its foreign policy priorities. During the 2014 election campaign, the main focus of Narendra Modi was on domestic issues. His stated top priority is good governance and reversing the country’s economic slide. However his remarks on illegal “Bangladeshi immigrants” and his attempts to differentiate between Hindu and Muslim immigrants, while campaigning in West Bengal and Assam have perturbed the government in Dhaka. Bangladesh is one of India’s closest regional allies.

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