On the second anniversary of the JMM-led government in Jharkhand, Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Wednesday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not responding to his request for universal pension, announced relief of Rs 25 per litre on petrol for two wheelers, launched a clutch of welfare schemes and laid the foundation stone of projects of Rs 16000 crore in the state.
He also unveiled the state's tourism policy which aims at making Jharkhand a must-visit destination by tapping its unexplored potential. Charging the previous BJP regime in the state with leaving behind huge debts, Soren said the JMM government is chalking out innovative ways to generate revenue. He launched the slogan - 'Jharkhand Na Rukega, Na Jhukega, Nishchit Roop Se Aage Badhega (Jharkhand will not stop, nor bend, will surely progress ahead)'. He said the Jharkhand government has introduced its own pension scheme over a month ago which has already benefited 2.43 lakh people of the state, including 1.89 lakh senior citizens.
"The universal pension scheme has become history. The Jharkhand pension scheme is for all in the state - Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, SC/ST and others," he said and slammed the opposition BJP for saying that the JMM government is against women empowerment. The opposition, he said, could not "digest" the JMM-led government's scrapping of the erstwhile BJP dispensation's scheme that allowed women to register property worth Rs 50 lakh for just Re one.
"Can they (BJP) tell me how many women in Jharkhand have the capacity to buy property worth Rs 50 lakh? How can an adivasi woman who has no money to buy a paracetamol tablet buy such an asset? The scheme was intended to benefit the rich," he said. The JMM government has instead brought the pension scheme that provides a dignified life for the needy, he said. He said the relief of Rs 25 per litre on petrol and diesel will be provided to two-wheelers beginning January 26, 2022, as the poor and the middle class have been impacted the most by the surge in fuel prices.
Soren said when people were forced to remain in the confines of their homes due to the COVID-19 pandemic it had become a challenge for a backward state like Jharkhand, from where a large number of labourers hail. It has therefore chalked out welfare strategies and is implementing them. The schemes have been prepared keeping in mind that they will benefit 3.25 crore people for 20-25 years. The new tourism policy is intended to tap the unexplored natural beauty as Jharkhand houses exotic places, he said at the programme held on the occasion at the sprawling Morabadi ground here.
The JMM government has accepted the demands of 65000 para teachers on salary, leaves and made 60 years as the age for superannuation. "The para teachers have been agitating for 11 months in a year ever since the state was created and now they can teach for those 11 months," he said and asked contractual workers to come forward for talks to solve their problems instead of taking to the streets. "The JMM government is committed to the welfare of the people," the chief minister said.
He said from next year government schools in the state will be brought on par with private schools. Farmers loans worth Rs 1,228 crore have been waived in the state during the last one year and 3.3 lakh farmers were linked to Kisan Credit Card scheme during the year. The target is to link 35 lakh farmers and make available Rs 10,000 crore to them, he said.
Under the government's outreach programme 'Aapke Adhikar, Aapki Sarkar, Aapke Dwar' (Your rights, your government, at your door), which is aimed at resolving issues related to government schemes at the doorstep of beneficiaries and launched on November 15 this year, about 25 lakh issues from over 35 lakh applications with regard to pension, gas connection and other government schemes were resolved. He laid the foundation stone for Rs 12,558 crore schemes and inaugurated Rs 3,195 crore schemes promising reforms in all sectors.
Among the new schemes unveiled on the occasion are 'Strategic Action for Alleviation of Malnutrition' - a 1,000 day campaign to fight anemia and malnutrition in the state, 'Kisan Pathshala Scheme' under which 17 farmers' schools will be opened in the first phase to impart farming techniques to them and 'Guruji-Student Credit Card Scheme' to provide credit to students for higher education, besides the 'Patrakar Beema Yojna' for scribes.
The state government also inked a pact with HCL Technologies for IT skill development of the youth and their placement. Jharkhand Governor Ramesh Bais, JMM President and Rajya Sabha MP Shibu Soren and state Congress in-charge R P N Singh were among those present on the occasion. Singh lauded the state government for showing the country how to "serve the workers and wipe out the tears of the poor" while battling the Covid-19 pandemic. "We will fulfill all the promises made," he said. The three-party alliance of JMM, Congress and RJD had won 47 seats in the 81 member Jharkhand Assembly in the state assembly election held in 2019.
-With PTI Inputs