Ability to Misrule Makes a Larger Budget

When Finance Minister (FM) P.C.Ghadei placed before the State Cabinet the draft budget of Rs. 38,929 crore on Monday for the current plan of 2010-11, he also made it clear that there is no additional tax proposal even though the proposed budget is larger than that of the last year. In other words the proposed expenditure is not supported by matching increase in revenue income. But the Cabinet has approved it. Ability to misrule may make any mismatch manageable in financial management of the State.

For a clear picture of how the state is running, it may be noted that when the supplementary budget for last year was to the tune of 1328.08 crore, the amount surrendered by different departments including the ones handled by the CM at the end of the said year, as they failed to spend the same, was Rs. 1391.87 crore.

Sources indicate that there was sharp exchange of words between Ministers and Officers over failure to utilize the funds allocated last year. But collective ability to misrule silenced the rumblings and approved the larger budget.

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Red Cross Holds Workshop on Conflict Reporting

Indian Red Cross – Orissa State Branch and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) organised a workshop on “Media, Conflict Reporting and International Humanitarian Law” on Thursday,3rd june,2010 at Hotel Hindusthan International, Bhubaneswar.The workshop was inaugurated by Sri Murlidhar Chandrakant Bhandare, Governor of Orissa and the President, the State Branch of Indian Red Cross Society.

Addressing to the media representatives Sri Bhandare observed that human rights being integral part of human life, violence and conflict are anathema to peace in society. When both electronic and print media can play a significant role and contribute to everlasting peace, working at the conflict ground is a challenge for the media, he said. Sro Bhandare further stressed that the media professionals should enhance their knowledge on International Humanitarian Law along with International Treaties for their safety. Awareness generation, action oriented programmes should be linked to protection of human lives, he suggested.

In his welcome address Dr Mangala Prasad Mohanty, Honorary Secretary, IRCS-OSB highlighted that Orissa State Branch of the Indian Red Cross Society has been working with the people of Orissa since 1936. It inspires, encourages and initiates at all times all forms of humanitarian activities so that human suffering can be minimized and even prevented and thus contributes to creating more congenial climate for peace. It renders services to mankind with its 30 District, 2 City and 3 Block Branches and a volunteer force of over 10 lakhs junior volunteers, 25,000 youth volunteers and 1,24,728 different category members.

Mr Paul Keen, Cooperation Coordinator, ICRC, New Delhi was the Guest of Honour in the occasion. He narrated the vulnerability of media people at Afghanistan and Iraq. While reporting from the ground, the media professionals should continue dialogue with all parties and actors, he said.

Sri Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, Editor, Sambad & Kanak TV joined as a guest of honor in the occasion. Maintaining balance with profession and job is a challenge for the journalists, he opined while thanking IRCS-OSB for organizing this type of workshop for the media persons.

Mr Surinder Oberoi, Communication Officer facilitated the programme and presented on Conflict Reporting and International Humanitarian Law, A film on International Humanitarian Law was screened in the last session of the workshop.

MUFP CONDEMNS UNPROVOKED ATTACK ON PRESS BY P.G. STUDENTS OF M.K.C.G. MEDICAL COLLEGE,BERHAMPUR.

The members of Media Unity for Freedom of Press (MUFP), who met under the ” Freedom Tree” on Tuesday, condemned in the strongest possible terms the unprovoked attack on fellow media persons by PG students of the MKCG Medical College in Berhampur on Monday and demands immediate identification and arrest of the culprits as well as strong action against the Berhampur SP for his dubious role in this entire episode. The MUFP also appeals to the editors and management of all news publications and channels in the state to express solidarity with the media persons and back their protest action with all their might.

Media persons were justly doing their duty as news gatherers while covering the ugly and shameful incident at the Medical College hospital where the aggrieved relatives of a person who allegedly died due to a doctor’s negligence were mercilessly attacked by a gang of MKCG medical college students. This unruly gang attacked the media persons, damaged their cameras and even allegedly looted their cash and other valuables including cameras for capturing their criminal act on record.

What is equally shocking is the manner in which the local police behaved. The attack on media persons took place in the presence of policemen who preferred to look the other way. The SP of Berhampur who has been making all kinds of tall claims about his efficiency refused to meet the media persons who were on a dharna in front of the Baidyanathpur police station, demanding action against those responsible for the assault on them. By doing so the SP has only confirmed the suspicion that he is on the side of the attackers.

MUFP calls upon all media persons, editors and management of all newspapers, TV channels and Web Media as well as all concerned citizens who believe in the freedom of the press to join hands to demand the immediate arrest of the culprits, action against the Berhampur SP and local police personnel for willful negligence and a strong legislation that prescribes stringent punishment for those who intimidate or assault media persons carrying out their news assignments.

MUFP notes with deep concern the sharp rise in the number of incidents of assaults on media persons on duty and apathetic attitude of the State Government towards the assaulters and warns the state government of a serious confrontation if immediate preventive and corrective steps are not taken to ensure free and fair reporting by the media.

It may be recalled that despite demand of MUFP for institution of a judicial probe headed by a retired judge of High Court to probe into the bloody attack on media persons inside Silicon Institute of Engineering and Technology, the State Government has so far not taken any action in this regard. Though the Chief Minister had assured us of a probe into the incident, his promise is only gathering dust. Similarly, Industry Minister, Sri Raghunath Mohanty’s so-called order for a high level Departmental probe into the incident has vanished into thin air.

The MUFP therefore demands that the Chief Minister and Minister for Industries update us about the status of their promises and the follow-up action taken at their end without any further delay.

A number of media persons representing the print , electronic and web media were present in the meeting. Among them were Subhas Chandra Pattanayak (Orissa Matters), Sampad Mohapatra (ND TV), Prasanta Patnaik ( India TV), Rabi Das ( Ama Rajadhani ), Manorajan Mishra (OTV),Gopal Mohapatra (Sambad ), Jajati Karan ( CNN-IBN), Sarat Paikray (ETV), Prafulla Das ( The Hindu ), Ramesh Chandra Mohanty, Subodh Panigrahi ( Naxatra TV ), Kedar Mishra ( Anupam Bharat ) and others.