Montek emphasises need to hit social sector targets

August 18th, 2008 - 8:58 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 18 (IANS) The country’s Planning commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia underlined here Monday the need for effective achievement of targets set under various social sector schemes.”We have been exceptionally good in outlining mantras but to what extent objectives are achieved remains a matter of debate and doubt,” Ahluwalia told reporters here while releasing the book ‘Social Development in Independent India, Paths Tread and the Road Ahead’.

Former diplomat Muchkund Dubey and Rajiv Balakrishnan, chief of the city-based Council for Social Development, a policy think-tank, have edited the book published by city-based Pearson Education.

The book provides an overview of the course of social development in India in the past 60 years by throwing light on different government schemes and social issues.

Ahluwalia said the targets were set in terms of how much money had been spent on the government schemes, though there was no direct link between the money spent and objectives achieved.

There were plans to increase the expenditure on health to 2-3 percent of the country’s GDP, he said.

“There has been less science-based evaluation of what has been happening in the field of social development,” Ahluwalia said.

Referring to the problems in the health and education sectors, Ahluwalia said there was “a need” for effective combined effort from the states and the centre to provide quality health and education facilities to the people.

He also pointed out the problem of absenteeism amongst teachers, which Ahluwalia claimed, was the highest among the developing nations.

Ahluwalia also spoke about the role of the private sector in providing health and education to the people. He also emphasised the need for employment creating growth, which he said will have the “greatest impact on poverty alleviation”.

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