THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government is in the process of formulating a Surrender-cum-Rehabilitation Policy for bringing individuals involved in Maoist activities back to the mainstream, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Wednesday. The government has also recommended the inclusion of districts with Maoist presence in the state in the Centre’s Security Related Expenditure Scheme, Vijayan said in the Assembly. The state government has listed Malappuram, Wayanad, Palakkad, Kozhikode and Kannur as having Maoist presence. Further, the government has formed a Unified Command with the Chief Minister as chairman to tackle Left extremist outfits in the tribal areas and to monitor the welfare activities targeting tribal communities, he said.
On the other hand, there is no need for concern regarding Maoist activities as the ideology was not on a path of growth in Kerala, he said. Maoist presence was reported in the forest regions, especially tribal settlements, in the state. ‘’The national scenario and the situation in the state, however, are dissimilar, even of an opposite nature. The tribal situation vis-a-vis Maoist activities is also different in Kerala. They haven’t been able to grow roots here,’’ he said.
Also, the state government - in a bid to combat the Maoist menace - is in the process of recruiting 75 tribal young men and women to the civil police through the Public Service Commission, the Chief Minister said. The Malappuram district collector’s report on the slaying of Maoist leaders, Kuppu Devaraj and Ajitha, in a police encounter has not contradicted the police claims.‘’The Maoists were ready to attack. The police had no alternative,’’ Vijayan said.
NH four-laning to be completed during Left Government’s tenure
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The widening of the national highways in the state to four-lane will be completed during the Left government’s tenure, PWD Minister G Sudhakaran said in the Assembly on Wednesday. Replying to the discussion on Demands for Grants in the Budget for 2018-19, Sudhakaran said the Alappuzha and Kollam NH bypasses would be completed by August and October this year respectively. As many as 87 works on the national highways are under progress.
Government to unify loading unloading wages to end ‘nokkukooli’
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The government has implemented unified loading and unloading wages in 11 districts and discussions are on to implement uniform wages in Idukki Wayanad and Kasargod districts in a bid to end the practice of ‘nokkukooli’, Labour Minister T P Ramakrishnan informed the Assembly on Wednesday. He was replying to a calling attention motion by Parakkal Abdulla of the Muslim League on the need to enact a law for prohibiting ‘nokkukooli’ in the state. Ramakrishnan said implementation of uniform wages would help end fleecing by workers and the practice of ‘nokkukooli’.
CM: No plan to fine candidates who skip PSC exams
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government has no intention to slap fines on candidates who apply and then fail to appear for PSC examinations, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Wednesday. The CM’s stand contradicts the PSC chairman’s recent announcement the PSC was indeed toying with such a proposal. ‘’No such proposal is before the government,’’ the Chief Minister said in reply to questions in the Assembly.
Government to consider granting moratorium for farm loans
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government would consider granting moratorium for farm loans if farmers were facing difficulty in paying back the agricultural loans taken from cooperative banks, the Chief Minister told the Assembly. The Chief Minister was replying to a submission in the Assembly by K C Joseph of the Congress who demanded a moratorium for loans taken by farmers who are in acute distress.
Hospitals overcharging for stents will be punished, says Health Minister
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Drugs Control Department will take action under the Essential Commodities Act if it is found that hospitals are overcharging for stents used in angioplasty, Health Minister K K Shylaja said. Hospitals, nursing homes and clinics have been instructed to specify the cost of the coronary stent, brand name, batch number, name of the manufacturer/importer in the bills issued to the patient.
Farm loan waiver: Mani, UDF stage walkout
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Congress leader K M Mani and the UDF joined hands in the Assembly to demand writing off of agri-loans availed of by farmers in the state, pointing out that the plight of ryots was no different from others parts of the country and they were on the verge of committing suicide owing to non-remunerative prices for various produces and high input costs. The combined Opposition also cornered the CPM- led government for turning its back to provide succour to farmers in Kerala.
Government to form panel to ‘discipline’ police force
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A three-member panel headed by Justice (Retd) C N Ramachandran Nair will submit recommendations on changes required in the Police and Prisons departments, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan informed the Assembly on Wednesday. One recommendation of the Commission headed by Justice G Sivarajan which investigated the solar scam involving former chief minister Oommen Chandy was that an efficient agency should study and submit suggestions for upholding discipline in the police force. It is in this regard that the government has decided to assign a three-member panel for the job, Pinarayi said. Cases registered under IPC and the Special and Local Laws (SLL) have decreased in 2017 over the previous year, the Chief Minister informed the House. IPC cases have dipped from 2,60,097 in 2016 to 2,36,685 in 2017.