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Poor need to be taken care of says PM
New Delhi, Apr 21 (IANS)
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Published on 21 Apr. 2010 11:29 PM IST
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Admitting that Maoism is the result of under-development, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday advocated the need to ensure that the poor share equitably the benefits of development.
He also told a function on the Civil Services Day here that those challenging the country’s integrity and the state’s authority will not be given any quarter.
“No quarter can be given to those who have taken upon themselves to challenge the authority of the Indian state and the fabric of our democratic polity,” Manmohan Singh said.
Reiterating that Maoist insurgency in mineral-rich central India was the “gravest internal security threat”, he said: “We cannot overlook the fact that many areas in which such extremism flourishes are under-developed and many of the people, mainly poor tribals, who live in these areas have not shared equitably the fruits of development.
“It is incumbent upon us to ensure that no area of our country is denied the benefits of our ambitious developmental programmes,” he said.
Referring to the April 6 massacre of 76 security personnel by Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district, Manmohan Singh said: “I have mentioned time and again that leftwing extremism is, perhaps, the gravest internal security threat that we face. Recent events have underscored the need for urgent and considered action to root out this problem.”
The prime minister’s remarks came a day after Maoist guerrillas simultaneously opened fire near at least five Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) camps in Dantewada. No casualties were reported.
Listing out the challenges the nation faces, Manmohan Singh said: “We face many new threats to the integrity of our country, both from within and from without.
Terrorism and Leftwing extremism seek to challenge the very foundations of our democratic and secular polity.
“Climate change and degradation of our environment threaten not only the quality of our lives but that of future generations as well. An efficient and equitable management of the country’s water resources presents new challenges.”
The prime minister asked civil servants to use technology tools to address the complaints of corruption and lack of transparency.
“It is up to you to devise innovative ways and means, to harness the tools of IT and to involve the intended beneficiaries in implementation so that complaints of corruption and complaints of lack of transparency get addressed.
“Every effort must be made to make full use of the potentialities of the Panchayati Raj System for effective decentralized and socially just development.”
Manmohan Singh said that “inclusive growth was the centerpiece of the developmental agenda” of his government.
“Fast economic growth provides us with the resources and the wherewithal to address the problems of poverty, ignorance and disease.
“Rapid growth will have little meaning, however, unless social and economic inequalities, which still afflict our society, are not eliminated quickly and effectively,” the prime minister stated.
He said despite a difficult 2009 in the wake of a global financial crisis, India was able to weather the problem and post a growth rate of 6.7 percent.
“There was hardly any country in the world which was not affected. We were no exception, though our quick but calibrated response ensured that the adverse effect of the slowdown was much less on us than on other countries. Our country was able to post a respectable growth of 6.7 percent in 2008-09. The growth rate for 2009-10 is now estimated at 7.2 percent and the forecast for 2010-11 is 8.25 percent.”
Use new technologies to fight corruption
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday asked civil servants to use information technology (IT) to fight corruption and ensure that the poor get equitable benefits of the government’s developmental schemes. “It is incumbent upon us to ensure that no area of our country is denied the benefits of our ambitious developmental programmes,” Manmohan Singh said, addressing a function here on the occasion of Civil Services Day.
He asked civil servants to use technology tools to address the complaints of corruption and lack of transparency. “It is up to you to devise innovative ways and means, to harness the tools of IT and to involve the intended beneficiaries in implementation so that complaints of corruption and complaints of lack of transparency get addressed. “Every effort must be made to make full use of the potentialities of the Panchayati Raj System for effective decentralized and socially just development,” the prime minister said. India, according to global corruption watchdog Transparency International’s latest survey, is perceived as a highly corrupt nation in the world ranked 84 among 180 countries on the integrity score.
The ranking means that 83 other countries are less corrupt than India.

 
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