Missteps of novice ministers glaring as Pinarayi Govt-2 turns half a year old

Thiruvananthapuram: As the second Pinarayi-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government completes six months in office on Saturday, there are several achievements worth highlighting. But controversies have also plagued the government, tarnishing its image.

The government in its second term has evidently taken a different approach than the first Pinarayi government over several issues. The complete overhaul of the Council of Ministers is what has led to the changes, both positive and negative. The positive is that the young ministers have been directly intervening in issues that affect the public and trying to resolve these. But lack of experience has arguably resulted in the Ministers taking several missteps both within and outside the Assembly and appearing unaware of even the major decisions taken in their departments, taking the sheen off the government's achievements.

With the centre of power gravitating towards the Chief Minister, the lack of courage displayed by Ministers to take their own decisions is evident in their statements. Meanwhile, the Chief Minister has also done away with the frequent press meets. Moreover, the interactions following the cabinet meets have also been discontinued.

Most of the departments are lagging behind in the timely implementation of the projects announced in the Budget. With just five-and-a-half months remaining this financial year, there is not enough funds to complete the projects. And, the government has withdrawn from the scheme for providing free kits for all families.

One of the major achievements of the opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) during these six months is that they have been able to raise various public issues with clarity and precision both inside the Assembly and outside. But the factional feud between the leaders of the Congress, which heads the opposition, has been a drawback.

Notable measures taken by the government

* Assurance on the nod for the Thiruvananthapuram light metro project and the second phase of the Kochi Metro.

* Going ahead with the high-speed rail project, despite the hurdles.

* Announcement of a Rs 20,000 crore second Covid package.

* Promise to create 20 lakh jobs in five years.

* Conducting the SSLC and plus-two exams amid the Covid pandemic.

* Formation of the revenue secretariat.

* Posting of women Collectors in eight districts.

* Free electricity for domestic consumers with monthly consumption of up to 30 units 

* Nod for the appointment of 7,000 teachers.

* Relief package of Rs 1,416 crore for micro, small and medium enterprises

* More government services go online

* Reforms and people-friendly measures in the tourism sector.


* Government's complicity in felling trees on revenue land.

* Forest department's permission to Tamil Nadu to cut trees at Mullaperiyar Dam.

* Link of some CPM leaders to even assault cases.

* Spike in cases during the second Covid wave.

* Allegations of hiding Covid death figures.

* The Women's Commission chairperson’s insensitive remarks against a woman and the subsequent resignation

* The Kitex row and the company's withdrawal from the project.

* Setback suffered over the move made to withdraw the Assembly ruckus case.

* Dowry-related deaths and the fast observed by the Governor.

* Forner student activist Anupama's stir to get back her baby and the role of local CPM leaders in  Thiruvananthapuram.

* Refusal to reduce the fuel tax.

* LDF nod to hike bus fares.

Progress of Projects

* Total project outlay - Rs 37,042 crore 

Expenditure: Rs 13,335 crore (36%)

* State project outlay: Rs 20,330 crore

Expenditure: Rs 8,132 crore (40%)

* Local self-government project outlay: Rs 7,280 crore

Expenditure: Rs 1,456 crore (20%)

* Central project outlay: Rs 9,432 crore

Expenditure: Rs 3,584 crore (38%)

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