UPA readies advt blitz to highlight govt exploits

The shadow of the impending general elections this summer is now looming large over the UPA government,sending the official machinery into an overdrive to highlight the government’s achievements...

Written by Smita Aggarwal | New Delhi | Published: January 20, 2009 12:50 am

The shadow of the impending general elections this summer is now looming large over the UPA government,sending the official machinery into an overdrive to highlight the government’s achievements in the past five years. Very soon,the country is going to be reminded of the current government’s achievements in office through a slew of audio-visual and print campaigns.

In a hurried communication in January,central government ministries responsible for implementation of UPA’s flagship schemes have been told to furnish the updated status of their respective programmes for “the updation of a booklet on the achievements of the union government.” In fact,the ministries have been directed to collate the information within stipulated time schedule “in view of the urgency of the matter.” The urgency can be sensed by the fact that in less than two days,the ministries have received the directive to hurry up twice already.

Recently,the Expenditure Finance Committee gave its nod to the Information and Broadcasting ministry’s proposal for spending around Rs 50 crore on highlighting the government’s achievements. An official source told The Indian Express that of the total amount,around Rs 28-30 crore has already been spent.

In its advertising blitzkrieg,the UPA government would be according top priority to universal education programme Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan and Mid-day Meal Scheme administered by Human Resource Development ministry; and Integrated Child Development Services run by Women and Child Development ministry. The Rural Development ministry’s Bharat Nirman (drinking water),Rural Housing,Rural Roads,National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and Total Sanitation Campaign would feature extensively.

Apart from these,the Prime Minister’s New 15-point programme for Welfare of Minorities and Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme would be aggressively highlighted. The government’s ‘achievement list’ also includes Bharat Nirman (rural electrician,irrigation) National Rural Health Mission,Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana,Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission,initiatives taken for the unorganised labour and enactment of Right to Information Act.

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