Centre's role crucial for states' balanced growth: Minister

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Hyderabad, Dec 18 (UNI) The Centre cannot abandon its responsibility of ensuring balanced growth across states in keeping with their resource endowments and available skills, Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh said today.

Absolute levels of public investment in infrastructure and connectivity should be stepped up, he stressed while delivering the foundation day lecture at the premier National Institute of Rural Development.

Speaking on ''Regional growth in India: Disparities or Desparities,'' he pointed out that progressivity of devolution formulae had now reached its practical limits.

''The present pattern of growth is increasing gaps between those states that have it and those that for complex reasons, don't. We ignore these worsening income inequalities at our own peril,'' Mr Ramesh underlined.

Asserting that infrastructure held the key to improving economic prospects of the laggard states, he said, ''to expect that Public, Private Partnership will have takers in the Northeast, for instance, is a height of folly. There is simply no other option, but for the Centre to take on the primary responsibility of building this infrastructure.'' The Public sector could take the role of a venture capitalist, establish infrastructure, trigger economic activity and then exit.


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