Fadnavis govt hits a ton, debut impressive

  • Surendra P Gangan, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Feb 07, 2015 00:36 IST

In the first 100 days of his government in state, Team Devendra Fadnavis seems to have set the ball rolling in the right direction.

From administrative reforms and industry-friendly policies to the plan of making 25,000 villages drought-free: the government has big targets to meet in the remaining 1,725 days of its reign, which even the political and bureaucratic experts are apprehensive about.

The reforms in the industrial sector have sent out a positive signal. By scrapping the river regulatory zone and relaxing regulations for reservations in forest, the government has proved industry comes first. The endeavours have paid off, as the delegation representing the state received a good response from multinationals during the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Of the two big initiatives launched by the government, Jalyukta Shivar needed an investment of Rs1,000 crore. The government wasted no time and ensured a budgetary allocation of Rs600 crore in the current fiscal, as it would fetch immediate results and save the funds spend on drought mitigation. Small-scale irrigation projects undertaken in the Jalyukta Shivar proved to be successful, when first launched by the previous government two years ago. The new government has augmented the initiative by taking it ahead on a large scale and aims to benefit at least 5,000 villages in the first year.

The Right to Services (RTS) Act, too, may prove to be a huge success, if implemented well. The draft of the bill for the proposed Act is silent on many fronts, including fixing the responsibility and punishment for the failure in delivering the services in the stipulated period. The success of the portal, Aaple Sarkar, the face of the RTS Act, will depend on its rigorous monitoring and tail-end results.

“Currently, the government seems to be confused. The drought relief to the farmers was dispersed quickly, compared to the earlier government, but the Jal Yukta Shivar is nothing but centralisation of powers. Small-scale irrigation projects, so far, were the responsibility of civic bodies,” said political analyst Vishwambhar Chawdhary. “The decision of scrapping the RRZ is disastrous, as it will lead to ecological imbalance. Similarly, the government has been silent on eradication of corruption.”

“With cash crunch in the state coffer and constraint on mobilisation of resources, the implementation of schemes will be tough. One will have to check if the bureaucracy is ready for the corruption-free efficiency expected by the new government,” said an officer from the Mantralaya.

The Opposition, too, has slammed the government claiming all its announcement have proved to be empty promises. The Congress released a booklet on Friday with brief comments on initiatives taken by the government. “Be it relief to drought-hit farmers, toll-free Maharashtra, scraping of LBT or minimum support price to farm produce, the state has failed on every front. Moreover, the power has been centralised at the CMO,” said leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil.

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