Govt should be more responsive to needs of people: Manipur CM

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New Delhi, Oct 13 (UNI) Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh today urged the government to be more vigilant, alert and receptive to the genuine needs of people, particularly the weaker and backward sections who need special protection.

Addressing the National Integration Council (NIC) meet here, Mr Singh said, "We also need to strengthen the intelligence machinery both at the Central and state levels and ensure effective co-operation and coordination among the various security agencies.'' He said lack of economic development and competition for scarce resources,including land, is often the root cause of communal and ethnic clashes.

Manipur continued to be deficit in infrastructure and the situation is no different in the entire North Eastern Region (NER), which is the main cause for it lagging behind other regions in the country in terms of road connectivity, power availability, banking and financial services, water supply and sanitation, he said.

The need of the hour is rapid and balanced economic development of the region.

Mr Singh said the National Rural Employment Gurantee Schemes (NREGS) has contributed significantly to the people in the rural areas in finding gainful employment and also to create community assets. The NRGS has ensured that the people at the grassroots level have a stake in their own development.

The Manipur CM said, ''We need to adopt a wholesome development approach for the NER, particularly Manipur which offers the most feasible land-route, as the gateway to the dynamic South East Asian countries.'' The Look East Policy has given a new hope, an direction, to the people of the NER, he added.

The Manipur (Hill Area) District Council (3rd Amendment) Bill 2008 has doubled the number of subjects and departments transferred to the District Councils to 25 as against only 12 subjects earlier. Steps are also being taken to conduct elections to the six district councils in the state.

Mr Singh said though NER accounts for just four per cent population of the country but nearly 20 per cent of the work force in the BPO and call centres are from the region which is a positive development.

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