New govt. promises to eradicate poverty, raise living standard

It pledges to uphold secularism, renaissance values and gender justice

May 20, 2021 10:26 pm | Updated May 21, 2021 12:05 am IST - Thiruvananthapuram

 Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan holds the first Cabinet meeting after the swearing-in ceremony of the LDF government in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan holds the first Cabinet meeting after the swearing-in ceremony of the LDF government in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has laid out an ambitious plan to eradicate poverty, improve health care, create basic infrastructure, provide housing, stop mortgage evictions, mitigate unemployment, modernise higher education and tangibly elevate the State’s living standard to that of developed nations within the next five years.

Speaking to newspersons after chairing the meeting of the new Cabinet here on Thursday, Mr. Vijayan pointedly invoked the political and social welfare legacy of the 1957 E.M.S. government.

He underscored the new Left Democratic Front (LDF) government’s commitment to insulate the State from the arguably anti-minority Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

He said the new government was moored to the foundational principles of secularism and socialism enshrined in the constitution. It would uphold renaissance values and gender justice. He laid particular stress on the welfare of marginalised sections of society.

The Cabinet tasked the Local Self-Government Secretary to conduct a State-wide survey to gauge poverty and identify the factors that caused privation. The report would pave the way for a pushy government initiative to wipe out deprivation for good, Mr. Vijayan said.

Mr. Vijayan proposed a law to stop banks from expelling residents out of their homes for defaulting on their loan payments. A panel headed by the Additional Chief Secretaries of Finance and Planning and a legal expert would examine the matter and submit their recommendation before July 15.

He promised to expand the social safety net to cover domestic workers and homemakers and reduce their workload by introducing smart kitchens.

A scheme to employ 20 lakh educated youth was underway. Government services would reach home online from October 2. A panel of IT experts headed by the IT Secretary would finalise the scheme. The administration would expedite e-office and e-file projects.

The Cabinet established a single-window system to clear projects as part of the Industries Department’s “ease of doing business” initiative. It also proposed legislation to give legal teeth to the Grievances Redressal Committee to inspire confidence in potential investors.

The government recommended Governor Arif Muhammad Khan to convene the first session of the new Assembly on June 24 and 25. It decided to nominated P.T. Raheem, MLA, as the Protem Speaker.

The Cabinet appointed K. Gopalakrishna Kurup and T.A. Shaji as the State’s Advocate General and Director General of Prosecutions, respectively. The government named V.K. Ramachandran as the State Planning Board vice chairman.

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