PM asks Kerala to make better use of central schemes

February 11th, 2011 - 9:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 11 (IANS) Ahead of upcoming assembly elections in Kerala, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday launched an attack on the state’s ruling Left Democratic Front, saying it was not using various central government schemes for the benefit of the people.Delivering the inaugural address at the Kerala Development Congress, organised by the Congress’ state unit on behalf of the Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Development Studies, the prime minister said: “The state government has to make use of the various centrally sponsored schemes which are not being fully utilised now.”

“Kerala has lot of challenges and opportunities and the challenges have to be faced by accelerating the speed of economic reforms with the help of private investments and in this regard, the state government needs to do much more,” he said.

The tenure of the current assembly ends in May and the official notification announcing the polls is expected any time now.

On the economic front, the prime minister said though Kerala is doing well when it comes to cash crops, its performance in food crops is coming down and there is a need to increase agricultural productivity.

Noting that several projects have become a reality here in the past six years, he said the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government is committed to help the state realise its potential.

“The state must do its bit to improve the atmosphere for investments. The labour relations in factories and other places all across the state has to improve to make it more investor friendly,” he said.

Speaking about the education sector, Manmohan Singh said the higher education sector in the state has benefited with the central government approving a central university and two premier institutions like the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) and the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology besides a centre of the Aligarh Muslim University.

“Very soon, the demand for an IIT in the state would also become a reality,” he added.

The prime minister cautioned that the state should be prepared to face the challenges in the demographic sector.

“The longevity here is high and old age security is an issue. The state is heavily dependant on foreign remittances which are vulnerable. Retiring at the age of 55 leaves many people jobless,” he added.

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