Kolkata: The state Urban Development and Municipal Affairs department has introduced a web-based software for better financial management and timely utilisation of government funds by various municipalities and urban local bodies.The new system has contributed towards the timely completion of various state government schemes. It has also helped in the project evaluation and management by the municipalities and other local bodies. It has now become more convenient for various government agencies to ease official complications and also in ensuring timely disbursement of funds. Apart from the web-based software, many other steps were taken up during the last financial year to properly channelise the government funds in development projects. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersA host of new steps has helped the Urban Development and Municipal Affairs department in utilising 96 percent of the budget allocation in the last financial year. To facilitate industrialists or entrepreneurs to set up new units and to provide them hassle-free e-services in various government departments, stress has been laid on “Ease of doing business” (EoDB). After coming to power, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has emphasised on easing out the complications which entrepreneurs often face. Following the Chief Minister’s instruction, various government departments implemented EoDB and all the clearances are now given through online portals. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaIt can be mentioned here that the Bengal government has secured first position in the EoDB ranking done by the Centre. Different reform points of the governmental procedure of sanctioning of funds, licensing and permissions have been identified and Business Reforms Action Plan (BRAP) has been prepared to implement those points and to achieve the targets of EoDB under BRAP. The department is also formulating a comprehensive policy to set up clusters which will eventually ensure proper management, optimum utilisation of landfill, reclamation of the existing landfill and recycling of the waste. Waste management has become an important issue in a state like Bengal, which is facing rapid urbanisation. The state’s urban population rose from 27.8 percent in 2001 to 31 percent in 2011. It is estimated that the majority of its population would reside in the cities in a few decades. The state government has also published its township policy, laying emphasis on providing affordable housing for the poor and creating jobs through various economic policies. Steps have been taken to plan cities which would be sustainable, resilient and environment-friendly, energy-saving, IT-friendly and safe. The state government has come up with the Green City mission in all the municipalities and municipal corporations, to achieve its goal.
President Maithripala Sirisena today criticized the relationship some former Sri Lankan leaders had with former Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi.Speaking to reporters in Colombo today, the President recalled how Gaddafi was seen in photographs with his arm around one former Sri Lankan leader. Former President Mahinda Rajapakse openly maintained a strong relationship with Muammar Gaddafi despite western global powers accusing him of being a dictator until his death. Meanwhile President Maithripala Sirisena also slammed the behavior of some politicians of the former regime for slinging mud at the UN.He recalled how some politicians staged protests outside the UN office in Colombo when the human rights issue was discussed in Geneva. The President also noted that countries like India, China and the US assisted Sri Lanka to defeat the LTTE.He said that the new Sri Lankan Government has been able to unite the UN Human Rights Council, which was earlier divided on the Sri Lankan issue. (Colombo Gazette) Sirisena did not mention Rajapaksa and his relationship with Gaddafi but the photograph he mentioned was that of Rajapaksa and Gaddafi in Libya.
“The Security Council has become a parent today,” Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock of the United Kingdom told reporters, explaining that the 15-member body was the “foster parent” of the elephant, which was rescued by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi after being caught by a snare.The elephant, whose ear had been “practically torn off” by the trap, was now doing very well, according to Ambassador Greenstock. “So it’s not just peace and security in Africa, it’s also wildlife the Security Council is at least temporarily showing its concern for,” he said.”There was a very touching look of parental affection on the faces of the members of around the Council,” he observed. “I think they wondered for a moment what the UK mission was doing, but I think they then got the point.””I hope the young elephant will also be a sign of the long memory of the Security Council for things that go both right and wrong in Africa,” he added.