Government, Industry must find a way to bridge the trust of people: Chidambaram

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New Delhi, May 12 (ANI): Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday said that government and industry must find a way to regain the trust of the people.

Speaking at the CII National Conference and Annual Session 2010, Chidambaram said neither government nor businesses alone can address the issue of Naxalism in the country.

The government is following a two-pronged approach to bring development to the affected areas while also using police action selectively to reassert civilian authority.

He said the government has allocated large amount of funds to affected areas in sectors such as highways, schools, housing, health and rural electrification. However, reports suggest that only two-third of the allotted money has been spent while the elected representatives from these areas feel that very little real development is visible on the ground.

The Naxalites have been actively destroying all visible signs of development such as school buildings, telecom towers and railway infrastructure. He said that in a country that faces a serious shortage of power, it is ironic that local people are opposing the construction of a power plant in several districts. This is indicative of the trust deficit that has developed between people on the one hand and industry and government on the other. He urged industry to play its role in taking development to the people even as the government is following its own strategy.

While discussing the issue of inclusive growth, he said that our record has been mixed. Even though our economy has achieved an average rate of 8.5% growth in the five year period 2004-09, the performance of the backward states has been poor. Some of the Central Indian states have lagged behind and these are the states where threats to security have developed.

On this occasion, Chidambaram also released two CII reports. One was a White Paper on Safe Cities and the second was a report on Security of Investments in India - A closer look at Naxalite affected areas. The report had been commissioned by the CII Task Force on Security of Investment under the chairmanship of Mr. B B Tandon, former Chief Election Commissioner.

Venu Srinivasan, President, CII said that while economic growth has increased, the disparity across states has also increased. Industry is keen to be involved in the socio-economic development of backward regions so that growth is inclusive but would need political and administrative support from the government.

Thanking the Home Minister for his frank discussion of the Naxalite problem, Mr. Hari Bhartia, President-Designate, CII said that CII would engage in development work to address the gap in trust and faith that he had referred to. (ANI)

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