Federalism is not only good politics, but also good economics: President

November 14th, 2007 - 10:15 am ICT by admin  
Addressing the valedictory session of the 4th International Conference on Federalism here, Patil called for adopting democracy and federalism as the guiding principles for a new world order.

She said that federalism is not merely a legal-constitutional mechanism for the distribution of powers, both legislative and fiscal, among different levels of the government, but it is a concept rooted in ’self-rule’.

“Power sharing arrangements between different units of government gives a sense of belonging to various groups within the political system. It facilitates the deepening and widening of the democratic process,” she said.

Patil further said that numerous challenges were ahead of humankind today– man-made as well as natural– and expectations from federalism were very high.

“Today, we are called upon to deal with problems that have been with us for sometime now - poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, and disease - along with new challenges like the effects of globalization, climate change and international terrorism. We, therefore, have to look at ideas and instruments that better equip us to deal with these issues effectively,” she said.

She expressed the hope that the deliberations of this Conference, with its unique format of promoting exchange of experiences and mutual learning, would go a long way in finding responses to these challenges.

“It is my hope that the delegates of the Conference will depart with a renewed commitment to enhance the federal system of governance, and to use it as a strategic tool for the fight against inequality and for building an equitable global order,” she added.

Earlier addressing the conference, Defence Minister A.K.Antony said that while fiscal tensions between the Centre and the States would exist, the need of the hour is to attain a harmonious balance between the powers being enjoyed by the Centre and the States and to prevent their misuse and abuse.

He also called for carrying out a re-evaluation of the latest developments in relations between the Governments at the Centre and in the States, and devise effective strategies to correct or remove the imbalances that might have crept into the system.

Over one thousand delegates from different parts of the world attended the conference, held in Asia for the first time. The Inter State Council Secretariat of the Government of India in partnership with the Forum of Federations, a Canada based international forum of federal countries, organized the three-day long conference.

The next conference will be held in Ethiopia. (ANI)

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