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  • PM for holistic development programme for Naxal-hit areas

    Published on July 25, 2010

    Seeking the cooperation of States in dealing with Left-wing extremism, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday asked the Planning Commission to design a holistic development programme for Naxal-affected areas.

    He said the development programmes must be aligned with the special circumstances in these states.

    “I have asked the Planning Commission to design a holistic development programme for these areas in consultation with states and other stakeholders,” he said, addressing the National Development Council meeting in New Delhi.

    Dr Singh said there should be no doubt that Left-wing extremism has to be met and it will be met with Centre and the States cooperating fully with one another.

    However, he said, the action against Maoists has to be supplemented by action on two other fronts — implementation of Forest Rights Act and Panchayati Raj and providing additional resources to these development of these areas.

    “Effective implementation of Forest Rights Act and Panchayati Raj (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act are critical. Failure to implement these laws in letter and spirit reduces the credibility of our commitment to bring development to these neglected regions,” Singh said.

    Admitting that development schemes have not worked well in backward and impoverished parts of the country, Singh said these areas must also be provided with additional resources for development.

    “The development programmes must be aligned to the special circumstances of these areas,” he said.

    “We must make a concerted effort to bridge the development deficit in these backward areas and reduce whatever sense of alienation that may exist among the adivasis living in these areas,” he said.

    He said the rights of tribals to forest must be protected. Pointing out that the Centre’s flagship programmes like MGNREGA was doing well in many states but there are “examples of poor implementation” as well, Singh said there was a need to make sustained efforts to improve performance in states where it is below average.

    Dr Singh also said that initiatives like Right to Education and NRHM need to be implemented with vigour.

    “This will require more resources. However, it is equally important to pay attention to improving the delivery system in order to achieve the desired outputs,” he said.

    The Prime Minister also laid stress on the need to protect environment which is under the threat from various sources of pollution.

    “The threat of climate change looms large and requires national action plan and international action. How well we handle these problems will determine whether our growth strategy is sustainable in medium or long term,” he said.


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