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KL This Week: Campaign Against Drug Menace, Assembly Elects New Speaker

Neelambaran A |
The government has initiated two important schemes, one to double the farmers' income and the other to create a Digi Commerce Network to support MSMEs.
KL This Week: Campaign Against Drug Menace, Assembly Elects New Speaker

Image credit: R Prakash

The Kerala Assembly elected AN Shamseer of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) as the new speaker after the former speaker MB Rajesh was sworn in as a minister in the cabinet. Though the Left Democratic Front (LDF) has sufficient numbers, the opposition fielded a candidate.

The Bharat Jodo Yatra led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi resumed on September 16 after a one-day gap. The yatra entered the Alappuzha district on Saturday morning and will stay in the state for another week.

The LDF government has decided to launch the Value Added Agriculture Mission (VAAM) to double farmers' income with an eye on marketing the unique foods of the state in the international and national markets. The mission will adopt modern technological advancements to achieve the goals.

With increasing reports of drug usage in the state, the government has decided to launch an anti-narcotics drive from October 2.

Aimed at creating a level playing field for the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), the government has decided to launch a new digi-commerce network. NewsClick brings a round-up of the happenings across Kerala. 

VAAM TO DOUBLE FARMERS' INCOME

The LDF government has launched the VAAM with the aim of doubling the income of the farmers and increasing productivity. The chief minister will be the chairman of the mission, with the ministers of agriculture and industries being nominated as the vice chairperson.

The mission will be formulating special working groups to focus on agroindustry, technology, knowledge collection and utilisation and marketing and finance. The mission will explore the possibilities of reaching out to the international and national markets by producing value-added products with professional marketing, branding and labelling processes.

The mission was announced in the 2022-23 budget with an initial outlay of Rs 5 crores. The LDF had been focussing more on developing agriculture and value-added products since assuming office in 2016. Read More

NEW SPEAKER ELECTED

AN Shamseer, the 46-year-old CPI(M) legislator from Thalassery, was elected as the 24th speaker of the house. He defeated the United Democratic Front (UDF) candidate Anwar Sadath. A special session of the house was held to elect the speaker on September 12.

The UDF nominated its candidate despite the LDF having sufficient numbers. The LDF candidate Shamseer received 96 votes, while the UDF candidate received 40 votes. Three legislators were not available in the house due to official and personal works, while the deputy speaker did not cast his vote.

Shamseer entered politics through the Students Federation of India (SFI) and later functioned as the state president of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI).

The election was necessitated after the former speaker MB Rajesh was inducted to the state cabinet in the vacancy created due to the resignation of MV Govindan, who was elected as the CPI(M) state secretary.

NEW DIGI COMMERCE NETWORK

With the aim of providing a level playing field for the MSMEs, the government has decided to create a digi-commerce network. The LDF government has decided to create its own network, though the union government has rolled out Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC).

The ONDC has praised the move of the LDF government to democratise the digital space for small traders across the state. The network aims to shoot to the national level with experts suggesting the creation of a sub-network of buyers and seller apps and delivery at all possible locations.

CAMPAIGN AGAINST DRUG MENACE

The drug menace has come to the fore, with the cases registered to record a huge jump. At the same time, 4,650 cases were filed in 2020 as per the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS). Till September 15, 2022, a whopping 16,986 cases have been filed.

The number of arrests has also recorded a jump from 5,674 to 18,743 during the same period. The usage of synthetic drugs has made its way into educational institutions, which has been flagged by the chief minister in the recent press meet.

The government has decided to launch an extensive anti-narcotics drive from October 2. The educational institutions will hold a massive campaign on November 2 to commemorate the end of the one-month-long campaign.

STATE INTERVENTION ON STRAY DOG MENACE

The government has initiated a month-long mass vaccination camp for street dogs, as several incidents of dog bites have been reported. As of date, 21 deaths have been recorded in the year due to dog bites.

The department of animal welfare and local self-governance will lead the vaccination camps to be coordinated by the district administration and the district panchayat presidents.

An expected 9 lakh stray dogs and 3 lakh pet dogs are expected to be vaccinated in the campaign. The government has also manded the process of obtaining a licence for pet dogs. Read More

DOCTORS PROTEST PAY ANOMALY

The doctors affiliated with Kerala Government Medical Officers Association (KGMOA) held a protest on September 14, seeking a speedy solution for demands on eliminating pay anomalies. The protest was held between 2.30 pm and 4.30 pm in the districts without affecting patient services.

The association has planned a 'mass leave' protest on October 11. The association accused the government of failing to fulfil the promises made during the talks held in January 2022.

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