BHUBANESWAR: Most of the welfare schemes launched by Government are nowadays utilised by the ruling party to further their vote bank and a few are implemented for the economic development of the voters and benefit of the society, admitted senior politicians at OTV's annual convention, Foresight-2017, here on Saturday.
Speaking on 'Welfare Schemes: Meant for Vote Bank or Development?', Utkal Bharat party president and former MP Kharavela Swain criticised the State Government for implementing schemes like one rupee rice and making the beneficiaries remain poor forever.
"Welfare schemes are required for a State like Odisha but those should be targeted to the actual poor and downtrodden. The Government should create opportunities for people to earn and invest more on infrastructural development, education and provide institutional support for their economic development instead of offering them freebies," he said.
BJP national secretary Suresh Pujari also came down heavily on Odisha Government for using welfare schemes to garner votes. "Starting from the formation of foetus to the death and even reaching graveyard, welfare schemes have been formulated for everyone. But do the schemes help in developing the economic condition of the beneficiaries? No, because the schemes are made to gain political benefits," he pointed out.
Leader of Opposition and veteran Congress leader Narasingh Mishra, however, favoured the welfare schemes to ensure basic rights of the people. "Schemes meant to provide basic rights to people are essential, but that should not be used for political gain. New schemes, which can focus on economic development of the poor, need to be launched and people should condemn the Government which is using welfare schemes for its vote bank," he added.
Going above the party line, Minister for Excise and Cooperation Damodar Rout too admitted that the aim of launching most of the welfare schemes in the country was to gain voters' support and not for their real development. The schemes which are not implemented with a pragmatic approach do not yield desired results," he said and claimed that the designers lack experience for which the schemes fail to achieve the objectives.
At the valedictory session, eminent author Chetan Bhagat said after emergence of social media, mainstream media has been adversely affected. Stating that credibility is very important and profit and popularity will follow, he said media houses will taste long-term success if they retain credibility. "Media has somehow lost track of its objective," he opined.
The convention was inaugurated by Medanta Group CMD Dr Naresh Trehan. Among others, OTV MD Jagi Mangat Panda and MD of In-DNA Life Science Pvt Ltd Dr Biren Banerjee also spoke.