Debate over Orissa`s poverty and Millennium Development Goal

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 5, 2010 - 00:08

Bhubaneswar: Hit by alleged corruption and inefficiency, Orissa is unlikely to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target by 2015 as poverty was still prevalent in many parts of the state, speakers at a debate felt here on Monday.

MDG is a programme of the United Nations to achieve within year 2015 eight goals related to child health, education, AIDS, maternal health, gender inequality, poverty
and hunger, environment and global partnership.

Describing health services, educational facilities and drinking water supply as "pathetic", most speakers at the debate on "We have not been successful in achieving the target
of development" organised by a local television channel said MDG looks unachievable in the present scenario.
"We can never achieve the MDG as our system is corrupt and inefficient to handle situation like poverty," said CPI leader and educationists Abani Boral. Boral, BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra, BJD leader and MP Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, Congress leader Narasingha Mishra, economist Kumarabar Das and social activist Jagadananda were
among the speakers at the debate.

While Bijay Mohapatra, Mishra and Boral claimed that the state would not be able to achieve the target set by the MDG, ruling BJD leader Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, Jagadananda and Das were optimistic of success.

"We may not achieve the target fully. But the state had made substantial progress during last 10 years," BJD MP Mohapatra said admitting that Orissa had not reached where it
should have been by 2010.

As two-third of the targeted period was over many felt it would not be possible to bring down poverty to 50 per cent by 2015 as agreed in a declaration in September 2000 by UN member countries, including India. The BJD MP blamed the Centre for the sorry state of
affairs in the state. "The Centre denied the state`s demand of giving 30 per cent of the royalty on minerals being raised from the state," he said.
Mohapatra pointed out that education, health, living standard of the people of the state totally depended on the financial situation of the state. Mocking at the state government`s claim of marching forward to achieve the MDG by 2015, BJP`s Bijay Mohapatra said
death of about 100 people of cholera and other water borne disease in KBK region was an indicator of ground reality.

"People are dying for drinking water and face death due to lack of medical treatment in tribal dominated districts," the BJP leader said asking the state government on
its true definition of poverty.

Quoting Orissa government`s 2009 Economic Survey report, Congress leader Narasingha Mishra pointed out that 57 per cent of the state`s population were in a position that
they could not spend even Rs 12 a day. Economist Kumarabar Das in his argument said though development was not visible now, one can see it through the planned expenditure and increase in the budget size in social sectors like education and health.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, October 5, 2010 - 00:08

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