Tripura CM criticises India's planning strategy

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{image-manik sarkar_17062008.jpg}Agartala, Jun 17: Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar today lashed out at country's planning process and held economists and planners responsible for slow development in the Northeastern region.

Addressing a gathering here after releasing the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), Tripura, 2007, Mr Sarkar opined that most of the Centre's plans were defective in nature, as these were not for the common masses and alleged that all the governments at the Centre had tried to protect the interest of the capitalists. He, however, appreciated that the Mid-Day Meal Programme (MDMP) for primary students had increased both attendance and retention in the schools.

He claimed that the Left Front government in Tripura had launched the MDMP in the state in 1978 for the first time in the country and had been seeking the Centre's support to universalise the system, which was finally launched nationwide.

Mr Sarkar also criticised the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) concept of the UPA govt at the Centre and argued that it increased Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India's retail market and the marginal entrepreneurs had been facing serious challenges.

''In the National Development Council (NDC) meeting, me and my West Bengal and Kerala counterparts have stressed on the need of increasing the purchasing capacity of our people to resist the multi-national companies who are squeezing money and responsible for the brain drain from our country,'' he said.

''Only 10 per cent of our total population is getting all benefits of the country's economic advancement and still our planners are trying to safeguard the interests of the foreign business community,'' Mr Sarkar pointed out.

Referring to the objectives of the 12th Five Year Plan, he stated that though it had given emphasis on agriculture, the issue of land reforms and other matters related to the interest of the farming community had not been resolved as more than 75 per cent of Indian farmers did not have their own land.

''We are claiming that our GDP has crossed the target fixed in the 11th Five Year Plan but it is only for a section of the capitalists,'' Mr Sarkar said, adding that he felt it was a ''jobless growth''.


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