Development uneven, need more honest state: PM

Friday, November 19, 2010

NEW DELHI - Pointing out that India’s “development was uneven”, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday said “we need a state that is more sensitive, more responsible, more transparent, more efficient and more honest”.

“At the level where the state interacts with the citizen, we need a state that is more sensitive, more responsible, more transparent, more efficient and more honest,” Manmohan Singh said while inaugurating the 10th Indira Gandhi Conference here.

“Some (institutions) worked, others did not. Some regions benefitted, others did not. Development was uneven, but its motivating force was our commitment to social justice and economic empowerment of all.”

He said there had been a mixed bag of results in programme implementation. “We have achievements to be proud of, and we have failures to learn from. Some programmes worked, others didnt. Some institutions played their assigned role, others failed or withered away,” he added.

Referring to the economic liberalisation in the early 1990s, Manmohan Singh said: “We have made mistakes and sought to correct them, as we did, for example, in the early 1990s.”

“But our journey has been nothing less than a unique struggle to realize the vision of a just and caring society in the context of a backward and developing economy and in the framework of a free and democratic polity,” he told the select gathering, drawn from various parts of the world.

The prime minister said the “reduction of disparities of all kinds - social, economic and regional - must always remain one of the central objectives of our developmental planning”.

“The direction of our planning is to solve over a period of time the problems of the poor of all communities, especially tribals, Harijans, backward communities and regions, he added.

“A new set of programmes and policies was crafted to more effectively translate our political vision into practical possibilities,” the prime minister said, adding that the vision of inclusive growth that “we now talk about is, in fact, what has defined development planning in India from day one”.

He said the effective relization of the rural employment guarantee scheme varies from state to state, from district to district. “Local competence determines the outcome of national campaigns and this is the reality which has to be borne in mind,” he added.

“We can legislate a minimum wage from New Delhi, but its implementation is in the hands of local governments.”

Pointing out that parliament had legislated the right to education act, he said the responsibility of implementing it lies mostly on the local bodies and district administrations.

“We are presently considering the legislation of a right to food act, but this right can only be realized if we have an effective public distribution system in place in every neighbourhood,” the prime minister said.

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