BeyondHeadlines News Desk
Noted social activist Aruna Roy has decided to opt out of the National Advisory Council (NAC), which was set up to give inputs to the United Progressive Alliance Government on social policies.
Ms Roy has decided not to continue as member of the NAC, led by UPA Chairman Sonia Gandhi, after her term expires on 31 May 2013.
In a letter to Mrs Gandhi, she requested that she should not be considered for another term of NAC that sets the social agenda for the government. Her requested was accepted by Mrs Gandhi.
Ms Roy has criticized the government for not adopting recommendations of the council on minimum wages to workers under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and termed the Prime Minister’s rejection of the council’s recommendations as “unfortunate”.
“It is difficult to understand how a country like India can deny the payment of minimum wages and still makes claims of inclusive growth. However, I realise the effort to persuade the government must now continue outside the NAC,” Ms Roy stated in the letter.
Rural development minister Jairam Ramesh has backed Ms Roy, but the Prime Minister’s Office cited fund constraint.
“Indian democracy will certainly be strengthened if the NAC recommendations are acted upon by government,” added Ms Roy who played an important role in the Right To Information and MGNREGA legislations.
Economist-activist Jean Dreze has also decided to opt out of the NAC, while Prof. Virginius Xaxa of Delhi School of Economics (Delhi University) is the new member to join the council.
Anu Agha, Ashish Mondol, AK Shiv Kumar, Deep Doshi, Farah Naqvi, Pramod Tandon, Mirai Chatterjee, Mihir Shah, Narendra Jadhav and NC Saxena will continue to be members of the council.