Lok Sabha debates Sustainable Development Goals

New Delhi, Aug 3 (IANS) The Lok Sabha on Wednesday took up for discussion the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) enumerated by the United Nations, with the government saying it could take another 25-30 years to overcome the international poverty line of 1.25 dollars per day.

While Union Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave said it could take 25-30 years for India to lift the standard of living of the poor, Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi said the NDA govenment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is pursuing its programmes in the right earnest.

Participating in the debate, Kunwar Bhartendra Singh (BJP) stressed the importance of “upgrading” the slum settlements. Congress member M. Veerappa Moily lamented the poor implementation of various government policies and programmes.

Dave said that it may take 200 years to meet the poverty line of 5 dollars per person per day, and 25-30 years for the international poverty line of 1.25 dollars.

He was replying to a general discussion under Rule 193 on the Sustainable Development Goals, which prescribe poverty eradication as one of the objectives.

The United Nations has ushered in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals with an aim to end poverty, hunger and assure gender equality across the globe.

Dave said more clarity was required with regard to the methodology for achieving the SDG targets as set by the UN.

“Politicians and bureaucrats have to work together for poverty eradication,” he said.

Former Union minister Moily (Congress) said he headed the Second Administrative Reforms Commission and submitted 15 reports — on fiscal, conflict resolution, terrorism and many other aspects, but the “implementation has been very poor”.

“We need to address all these problems first by making governance effective. (Railways Minister) Suresh Prabhu has a mission to implement governance reforms. He should do that and not hesitate. I know bureaucracy will not agree with him, but he will have to do it. Reform is like creative destruction,” Moily said.

Maneka Gandhi said: “Prime Minister Modi, more than any other, has realised that the SDGs can only be achieved by reducing the vertical walls between ministries and states. Which is why, once a month, not only is the entire Cabinet and all the minsters of states are called, but we are taught about each other’s performances, each other’s abilities. We learn to share, not just knowledge, but common aims.”

Shiv Sena MP Shrikant Shinde called for higher investment in education sector. B. Renuka of the YSR Congress Party should explore a ban on the mining of hills and mountains.

Trinamool MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar said ecological sustainability must be linked to economic development in a global perspective.

Tathagatha Sathpathy (Biju Janata Dal) said India today stands as “a testament of our fight over the years against famine, disease, deprivation and so many social problems and yet we have managed to rise as a nation”.

–IANS

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