New Delhi, Feb 1 (ANI): Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Monday called for better administrative coordination between States and the Centre for faster development of the country.
Addressing the First Annual Conference of Chief Secretaries here today, Dr Singh said, " hope that in the time to come this annual conference will become a forum for useful and productive exchange of views between the Centre and the States. I compliment the Cabinet Secretary for taking the initiative of proposing this conference."
Dr Singh further said, "We are meeting at the beginning of a new decade. Economic reforms over the last twenty years have enabled us to become one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Not only this, we also have the resilience to deal and meet the challenge of crises, as our response to the recent global downturn shows."
"We are now more capable than ever before in fighting persistent poverty, hunger and disease, and providing a better quality of life to our people. We also now live in a globalised environment where the Indian economy is increasingly getting integrated with the international economy, and Indian talent and enterprise is recognized the world over," he added.
Further emphasising that there are new challenges ahead, Dr Singh said, "The rising expectations of the people make them impatient with the speed at which we can deliver results. People today resent apathy, sloth, and corruption in any form and at any level of government more than ever before. There is clamour for accountability from all quarters - the legislature, the judiciary and the media."
"Greater connectivity and greater integration of States in the national economy imply that what happens in one State has an impact on other States. There are problems, which require a response, which is coordinated not only between the affected States but also between the Centre and the States," he added.
Dr Singh said, " Fast economic growth has little meaning if it does not lead to the well being of the poor and the disadvantaged, of our farmers, workers, our children, students and women. The benefits of the development process have to percolate to every part of our country and to every section of our society if we want to progress in the true sense of the term and be a strong and cohesive nation."
"The Central Government has attached the highest importance to our growth being inclusive in nature. But India lives in States. Unless the States move ahead and move forward at a pace that is adequate to the challenges that we face, I think we cannot claim that we have delivered inclusive growth," he added.
Dr Singh further said, " The inclusive growth that we talk about is reflected in the launching of schemes like the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Programme, the National Rural Health Mission, the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, the New 15 Point Programme for the Welfare of Minorities and Bharat Nirman programme designed to upgrade the quality of rural social and physical infrastructure."
"There is a need for strengthening the Panchayati Raj Institutions as a means for an effective decentralized planning system for inclusive growth. All this constitutes a huge task that requires dedication, commitment and persistence. I would like to add here that the Central government does recognize that there is always room for improvement in these schemes and programmes," he added.
Emphasising on rule of law, Dr Singh said, "The law and order machinery has to be sensitized to the key security concerns that affect us. Terrorism, insurgency and extremism need to be tackled with a firm but effective and sensitive hand. You have to be aware not only of local and regional happenings but also of pan-India and trans-border developments."
"We have launched a National Action Plan on Climate Change. This Action Plan encompasses eight National Missions. The goals that we have set for ourselves are indeed ambitious. Much of the action in respect of the National Missions has to be taken by the States. There will be need for local adaptation, for assessing what will work and above all, for involving the local communities in processes of implementation," he added.
Dr Singh further said, "The development of a country is largely a function of how committed people who man the top administrative echelons of the country are to the challenges of faster and equitable development and therefore you shoulder very heavy responsibilities in getting our country moving forward at a pace which we need to banish poverty, ignorance and disease from this ancient land of ours." (ANI)