Now a parliamentary committee to meet Millennium Development Goals

October 22nd, 2008 - 7:14 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 22 (IANS) A parliamentary committee comprising 30 MPs was formed Wednesday to ensure that the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), which India aims to achieve along with the rest of the world, are met by 2015.Raman Senthil, Lok Sabha MP and a core member of the committee on MDGs, said the main aim behind forming such a body was to sensitise MPs about the various problems and issues that India faces today.

“The main aim behind formation of the Parliamentary Group on the MDGs (PG-MDGs) is to sensitise the MPs about the MDGs and the issues that plague India, and indeed the rest of the world today. Only when they are aware, will the various government policies be influenced in the direction of realisation of the goals,” Senthil told IANS on the sidelines of a meet on MDGs in the capital Wednesday.

In 2000, leaders of 189 countries including India signed the Millennium Declaration, agreeing to do everything in their power to end poverty. They promised to do this by achieving the MDGs, a roadmap set by the UN to end extreme poverty by 2015.

“To begin with we are launching the committee with 30 MPs including a bright and upcoming woman MP, Supriya Sule, who is the chairperson of the group. There maybe more members in the future,” Senthil said.

Two handbooks were also released for the benefit of the MPs on this occasion.

“The handbooks give details about the eight MDGs, what our present government programmes are doing to achieve these and recommendations about what else needs to be done,” he said.

For instance, the first goal is eradication of poverty. The current policies towards this common goal include the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) and the Public Distribution System (PDS).

Policy recommendations state that NREGS should be made more mission focussed, wage payments should be made on time and transportation to the area of work and child care should be included.

To achieve the MDG of universal primary education, the policy recommendations include more public investment in education, making education a justifiable right and making it more relevant to the present times.

Besides these two, the other six MDGs are: promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment, reduction of child mortality, improvement of maternal health, combating HIV/malaria and other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability and development of global partnership.

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