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Expectations of people running high

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, May 14 � While a new government, with a strong mandate, about to take office, a cross section of citizens believe that bold action would be needed on several fronts if genuine and sustainable development is to take place in Assam.

Imran Hussain, a young businessman from Pan Bazar, Guwahati, is of the view that the business and commerce sector has not received attention from consecutive governments, which has limited the scope of employment in the state. �Producing fourth grade jobs is not enough, expanding trade and business will create far better opportunities for the youth�the bottom line is, employment must go up,� he remarked.

He favoured adoption of new policies that give young people strong support to acquire knowledge and skills which score high on employability in a competitive environment.

A teacher of Gauhati University, who preferred anonymity, said that if Assam is to grow in a meaningful way, scams and corruption must be tackled with sincerity. �We have funds flowing in, and the burden of debt per capita is rising. In this circumstance letting corrupt people become affluent is a shame,� he stated. He, however, concluded by saying that a clean government in the state today seems to be a contradiction in terms.

Continuation of peace talks with militant groups, he added, should be taken up more vigorously as parleys have already met with several hurdles. Appreciating the role of civil society groups shaping a charter of demands, he said that the new government must not lose the momentum already gained.

Prahlad Gowala, the president of Assam Tea Tribes Students' Association, (ATTSA) speaking over the phone from Sivasagar, mentioned that the government that comes to power should address issues related to education, ST status, and land rights of tea garden workers. These are issues which find mention in the poll manifestos of various parties, including the Indian National Congress, but adequate response has been conspicuously missing.

�I hope the new government will do some good work in the disability sector,� said Amvalika Senapati, assistant project co-coordinator, disability law unit of Shishu Sarothi. Expressing regret over public buildings and amenities being unfriendly to the physically disabled, she said that the government should become sensitive about the issue. �I would even say that the authorities concerned should not issue occupancy certificates to property owners if they do not provide the facilities required by the disabled,� she noted.

For youth activist Ranjan K Baruah, the government that comes into power must do something about transparency and probity in public finances. �My big expectation from the new government is that it must be transparent and accountable and work for good governance�E-governance must be strengthened,� he stated.

Baruah, who has built ties with youths at the grassroots, also wants an innovative Youth Policy that recognizes the challenges facing them in the state. �The time to support our future citizens has arrived�we should not delay it any longer,� he mentioned.

A police official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that special efforts should be made to rehabilitate the ultras which have either surrendered or plan to lay down arms. The new government must come up with a comprehensive package to ensure that they can fit into the mainstream. Such measures notwithstanding, he said, there is a distinct possibility that such elements will create law and order problems in the days ahead.

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Expectations of people running high

GUWAHATI, May 14 � While a new government, with a strong mandate, about to take office, a cross section of citizens believe that bold action would be needed on several fronts if genuine and sustainable development is to take place in Assam.

Imran Hussain, a young businessman from Pan Bazar, Guwahati, is of the view that the business and commerce sector has not received attention from consecutive governments, which has limited the scope of employment in the state. �Producing fourth grade jobs is not enough, expanding trade and business will create far better opportunities for the youth�the bottom line is, employment must go up,� he remarked.

He favoured adoption of new policies that give young people strong support to acquire knowledge and skills which score high on employability in a competitive environment.

A teacher of Gauhati University, who preferred anonymity, said that if Assam is to grow in a meaningful way, scams and corruption must be tackled with sincerity. �We have funds flowing in, and the burden of debt per capita is rising. In this circumstance letting corrupt people become affluent is a shame,� he stated. He, however, concluded by saying that a clean government in the state today seems to be a contradiction in terms.

Continuation of peace talks with militant groups, he added, should be taken up more vigorously as parleys have already met with several hurdles. Appreciating the role of civil society groups shaping a charter of demands, he said that the new government must not lose the momentum already gained.

Prahlad Gowala, the president of Assam Tea Tribes Students' Association, (ATTSA) speaking over the phone from Sivasagar, mentioned that the government that comes to power should address issues related to education, ST status, and land rights of tea garden workers. These are issues which find mention in the poll manifestos of various parties, including the Indian National Congress, but adequate response has been conspicuously missing.

�I hope the new government will do some good work in the disability sector,� said Amvalika Senapati, assistant project co-coordinator, disability law unit of Shishu Sarothi. Expressing regret over public buildings and amenities being unfriendly to the physically disabled, she said that the government should become sensitive about the issue. �I would even say that the authorities concerned should not issue occupancy certificates to property owners if they do not provide the facilities required by the disabled,� she noted.

For youth activist Ranjan K Baruah, the government that comes into power must do something about transparency and probity in public finances. �My big expectation from the new government is that it must be transparent and accountable and work for good governance�E-governance must be strengthened,� he stated.

Baruah, who has built ties with youths at the grassroots, also wants an innovative Youth Policy that recognizes the challenges facing them in the state. �The time to support our future citizens has arrived�we should not delay it any longer,� he mentioned.

A police official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that special efforts should be made to rehabilitate the ultras which have either surrendered or plan to lay down arms. The new government must come up with a comprehensive package to ensure that they can fit into the mainstream. Such measures notwithstanding, he said, there is a distinct possibility that such elements will create law and order problems in the days ahead.