The Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM) has urged the Himachal government to have a relook at the charge sheet against the previous Bharatiya Janata Party led regime in the state, alleging the inquiry against the latter was not being followed up seriously. CPM state secretariat member Tikender Panwar said the two-year rule of the Congress party led government was "really disappointing" and it was "following in the footsteps" of the previous BJP government.
"The Congress party came to the power in state on the promises to provide good governance, corruption free administrative set up, fair inquiry against the land and forest mafia, generating job opportunities and improving the state's financial health. However, it has done exactly the opposite of what it had promised. The state, which is going through its worst period, is reeling under a debt of over Rs 30,000 crore. Even salaries of government employees are being paid by taking loans from the RBI, the World Bank and other institutions and by borrowing from the market," said Panwar.
He said the state was unable to provide the minimum level of employment. "Joblessness is on the rise and has jumped from 3.03 % to over 23.13 % in a decade. Earlier 68.64% of the unemployed registered with the government were provided jobs but now that figure has sharply declined to just 0.34% in 2011, which is actually nothing," he added.
Panwar also accused the state government of adopting a "neoliberal agenda". "At one time Himachal Pradesh unlike other states had a relatively developed services sector but the previous years and especially the last two has seen the severest attack on this sector. In the irrigation & public health department 21% of positions for assistant engineers 26% for junior engineers, 14% for water pump operators, 19% for fitters and 18% for beldars remain vacant," he added.
Panwar said Himachal Pradesh was known for 100% electrification in 1980 but "instead of building hydroelectric projects or ensuring equity in them the government has worked with another formula of having one time upfront premium on sale of power."
"The state has already allocated projects with an aggregate capacity of 22,551 MW against the total harnessing potential of 23,000 MW. In the state electricity board 18% of junior engineers, 54% of clerks/meter readers and 38% of T-mates are vacant. With this inadequate staff it is impossible to provide timely services and to restore electricity in those areas where LT and HT line are snapped due to snowfall in the winters," Panwar added.