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Jan Manch "Symposium" on Employment Guarantee and the Right To Information
(New Delhi 21st march, 2009)
Basics demands from Political Parties attached.
A Jan Manch on Employment Guarantee and the Right to Information will be held in New Delhi on 21 March 2009, in anticipation of the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. At this Jan Manch, representatives of all political parties will be invited to present their party's position on these two crucial issues, and to respond to public demands or queries.
This event is being convened under the joint banner of Peoples Action for Employment Guarantee (PAEG) and the National Campaign for Peoples Right to Information (NCPRI). A draft charter of basic demands on employment guarantee, and Right to Information is pasted below and attached too for your perusal. Please send any comments you may have to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This charter of demands will be sent to political parties, and circulated widely, in advance of the Jan Manch.
The Jan Manch will be held on the lawns of Constitution Club (Rafi Marg) in New Delhi, from 10 am to 4 pm. About 5,000 participants are expected to attend from all over the country.
You are cordially invited to participate. If you are coming in a group, please inform the organizers in advance by sending a line email@example.com.
All participants are expected to make their own arrangements for travel. We shall help you finding lodging facilities if you inform us in advance (by 18th march, 2009). Subsidized food shall be arranged.
Jan Manch 09
(Annie Raja, Dithi Bhattacharya, Jean Drze, Nikhil Dey, Radhika Menon, Ramit Basu)
Employment Guarantee: Demands from Political Parties*
The main demands on Employment Guarantee that were agreed upon for inclusion in the charter were as follows:
1. Expansion of the scope of the Employment Guarantee Act (EGA), including:
(a) Individual entitlements: Expansion of the work guarantee from 100 days per household per year to at least 100 days per adult per year.
(b) Enactment of an Urban Employment Guarantee Act.
2. Expansion of the list of permissible works to include rural public services as well as construction and maintenance of rural infrastructure (within the mandatory 60:40 ratio).
3. Reverse the recent freeze on NREGA wages by the Central Government and ensure linking of minimum wages to the Consumer Price Index.
4. Protection of all organizers and activists involved in the implementation of NREGA, including social audits, and investigation of recent incidents of violence against them.
5. Putting in place effective grievance redressal mechanisms.
6. Strengthening of the operational framework for NREGA, including:
Conversion of the Operational Guidelines into mandatory Rules.
Establishment of PRIs where none exist (e.g. Jharkhand).
7. Increase in financial outlays to 2% of GDP, and raising of the allocation for administrative expenses from 4% to 6% of NREGA expenditure. This would help in ensuring guaranteed minimum standards for all mandatory worksite facilities (including crche and drinking water) and minimum transparency measures.
8. Reservation of 50% of all posts in the NREGA machinery (POs, GRSs etc.) for women. Separate Job Cards for widows, separated women and other single women irrespective of their living arrangements.
* Prepared for a Jan Manch to be held in New Delhi on 21 March 2009, in anticipation of the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. This Jan Manch is being convened under the joint banner of Peoples Action for Employment Guarantee (PAEG) and the National Campaign for Peoples Right to Information (NCPRI). The demands are based on a preparatory meeting held on 26 February 2009, and follow-up consultations.
Right To Information
The main demands on Right to Information that were agreed upon for inclusion in the charter were as follows:
1. The RTI law carries a strong mandate of the people and should not be amended in any way. Most measures to strengthen it can be undertaken through rules and administrative measures to strengthen implementation.
2. Set up a National Council for the Right to Information (along the lines of the NREGA council), to monitor the implementation of the RTI Act.
3. Set up statutory public grievance commissions across the country, which have powers to redress grievances and to punish errant officials.
4. Make the selection of information commissioners transparent and participatory.
5. Formulate model rules that can be adopted by all states.
6. Ensure Mandatory disclosure under section 4 (suo moto) disclosures, and strengthen this process, including disclosures of all financial transactions.
7. Strengthen information commissions and make them independent by directly voting their budgets and giving them financial and administrative autonomy.
8. Set up Feed Back mechanism regarding applications filed for information from Panchayat up to state to monitor implementation and address weaknesses.
9. Budget for Training of Government Personnel in RTI implementation in the Centre and the State.
10. Budget allocation and ensure spending for spreading awareness through radio and TV to facilitate peoples use of RTI to prevent Corruption and ensure accountability.
11. To ensure transparency of the corporate and private sector, in particular financial matters that affect the larger public interest.
Secretariat - Right to Food Campaign
5 A, Jungi House,
Shahpur Jat, New Delhi 110049.