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Centre tinkering with federal structure: Modi

Saturday October 22, 2011 07:07:31 PM, IANS

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New Delhi: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi Saturday accused the central government of attempting to tinker with the federal structure of the country and said the confidence of people had been shaken due to corruption.

"During the 11th (Five Year) Plan, we have seen enough instances of major schemes yielding sub-optimal outcomes because the schemes gave little or no flexibility to the state," Modi told the 56th meeting of the National Development Council (NDC) in his written speech, copies of which were distributed to the media at the Vigyan Bhavan here.

Modi said there was a "credibility crisis" in the country and the confidence of people in governance had been shaken to the core.

"Large scale corruption has undermined the fate of the common citizen in our system of governance... Transparency and fairness have to be clearly demonstrated to change public perception," said Modi.

He said it was with a "sense of great anguish and deep regret" that he was drawing attention of the NDC to "attempts being made by the central government to tinker with federal structure mandated by the constitution".

"The central government should exercise extreme vigilance and caution to ensure that all constitutional authorities are allowed to carry out their mandated functions and at all times observe the federal dharma," added Modi.

The chief minister also attacked the central government over rising prices and said inflation poses a great threat to the country's development.

"The government of India has made little effort to tackle supply side constraints and the agricultural sector is practically stagnating. The frequent monetary policy interventions are adversely affecting the confidence of investors," Modi said.

Modi demanded a white paper on the discretionary fund given by the central government to various states.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the meeting, Modi said that it was unfortunate that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did not speak about price rice in his address.

"It is unfortunate that at the meeting concerned with planning for the future, there was not a word on price rice. He is so insensitive," Modi said.

He said that Manmohan Singh had called upon the states to work with the central government, but it should be a two-way mechanism, where the central government also takes care of the states.

He also criticised the prime minister for linking slowdown in growth to financial difficulties in some developed countries, saying that Gujarat was an industrialsed state and had achieved the growth target set by the Planning Commission.

Slamming the government for its policies on energy and coal, Modi said: "It will be the first Diwali when there will be darkness due to policies of the central government."

He also said the government should answer "whether NDC is bigger or the NAC (National Advisory Council)."










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