In a bid to curb terrorism, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal today urged the central government to make concerted efforts to evolve political consensus at national level for the eradication of social maladies like poverty, illiteracy and unemployment in the country.
Addressing the gathering at Shaheed Parivar Fund function organised by the Hind Samachar Group here, the chief minister said these social maladies were the root cause of widespread terrorism and in order to provide security to the countrymen it was the bounden duty of the central government to make stupendous efforts for removing them.
Advocating the constitution of a national level forum for discussing such key issues, Badal said at present the state government hardly have any forum to raise the matters relating to public interest before the union government.
He said as a result of this on one hand heavy concentration of powers was taking place in the hands of centre government and on the other hand due to communication gap between the union and state governments the welfare of general public was being adversely affected.
The chief minister further said with the constitution of such national level forum all the political parties would be able to contribute towards ensuring peace and communal harmony in the country thus paving way for its all round development.
Reiterating that the grants given by the union government must be disbursed in proportion to the share of taxes collected from the state, Badal said it would provide the required fillip for the development of the states.
He also said the Centre must formulate the policies at national level keeping in view the diversities in the states so that uniform development could be ensured in them.
The chief minister also demanded that the union government must take adequate steps for effectively checking the smuggling of drugs into the states from across the border.
He exhorted the people to come forward and join hands to support the state government for curbing menaces like poverty, corruption and drug trafficking so that a new era of all round development could be heralded in the state.
He lamented that the state was adversely affected due to the long spell of terrorism."It's (terrorism's) consequences were apparent from the fact that Punjab once the most prosperous region of the world was today lagging behind in many fields," he said.
He said that though the people of state had very bravely fought against terrorism "but the union government has never bothered to fulfil the economic loss suffered by the state during that troublesome period, despite the fact that the state fought a nation's war".
"The silver lining has been that the state government with the active co-operation of the wise people of Punjab has been able to maintain peace and communal harmony in the state," he said.
Earlier, talking to media persons, Badal said that for successful implementation of the Right to Education Act to benefit the weaker sections of society, the union government must ensure that the reimbursement to be given to the private schools for waiving off the fee of poor students must be released in advance.
He said that the financial burden of this act should not fall on the state governments and asked the Centre to release funds for its successful implementation.
Badal also said that the union government must draft policies keeping in view its financial implications.