Kalam advocates region-oriented approach to development in federal set-ups

November 14th, 2007 - 8:36 am ICT by admin  
Speaking on the second day of the fourth International Conference on Federalism here, Kalam said that developmental schemes and solutions to problems need to be region-based, as India’s resources, climate and terrain are region-based with unique cultures of regions.

He said that the states should work to their core competence and complement one another, adding that the overall planning at the central level should focus on regional development.

In his address, Power Minister Shushil Kumar Shinde said that the country as vast as India could not have progressed as well as it did without a federal structure.

Discussions in theme sessions also got underway today. The Conference is based on four broad themes and twelve sub-themes. The topics for theme sessions include Building on and Accommodating Diversities, Emerging Issues in Fiscal Federalism, Interaction in a Federal system and, Local Government and Federal Systems. For the first time, local government has been chosen as the topic of a theme session. ddressing the Conference yesterday, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee called for hastening the process of devolution of power at the grass-roots level. He said that without a sense of participation in governance, there can be no credible empowerment.

In his address, the Panchayati Raj, Youth Affairs and Sports and Development of North Eastern Region Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar said that the only way to achieve inclusive growth is by strengthening Panchayats, the third tier of democracy.

Addressing the Conference, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee said that democratic governments are better equipped to maintain a cohesive policy amidst diverse interests and priorities. He stressed the need to amicably resolve all fiscal issues without jeopardizing national unity and integrity.

The three-day conference, which will concluded tomorrow, is being organized by 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. The earlier conferences were held in Canada in 1999, Switzerland in 2002 and Belgium in 2005. (ANI)

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