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Modi for review of PM's plan for minorities

December 19, 2007 13:23 IST

Opposing communal budgeting, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday demanded a review of a programme in the 11th Plan that stipulates earmarking 15 per cent of targets and outlays under various schemes for minorities.

"The New 15 Point Programme that focuses on earmarking certain outlays of various developmental schemes and programmes of the government of India amongst the eligible beneficiaries, based on their minority status, should be reviewed in the interest of maintaining the social fabric of the nation," Modi said at the National Development Council meeting in New Delhi.

"Such discrimination, amongst the eligible beneficiaries, for flow of funds based on minority status, will not help the cause if taking the people of India together on the path of development," Modi said.

The correct criteria for flow of funds for various schemes and programmes should be based on the principle of equity by taking only socio-economic criteria alone, he said.

The chief minister said the implementation of such schemes should be left to the state.

Modi asked the Centre to create a separate cadre for conducting elections, which would allow the regular administration to focus on development.

"Disruption is caused due to appointment of observers at senior levels who have to spend long periods of time in other states as a part of election duty, this hampers development," he said.

Contending that frequent elections took their toll on governance, Modi suggested that polls to state and central levels be conducted simultaneously once in five years.

Noting that terrorism is detrimental to the nation's development, he said: "Such negative forces of destabilization and disorder must be put down with an iron hand."

He said, the Centre and the states must address the issue 'collectively and comprehensively.'

"What is required is a common political will to tackle the problem head on, or else the nation would have to pay a very heavy price," Modi told the gathering of chief ministers and other leaders.

He said the state economy grew at a rate of 10.6 per cent against a target of 10.2 per cent. In the last year of the Tenth Plan, Gujarat achieved a revenue surplus of Rs 1770 crore -- one year ahead of the target of achieving zero revenue deficit by 2007-08, Modi said.

He also asked the Centre to undertake projects to build global landmarks like the Akshardham Temple in Delhi and the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur.

"As projects of excellence they would have their own positive spillovers and externalities which create a momentum for economic development," Modi said.
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