Conceding there is a “development deficit” in some areas, particularly those inhabited by tribals, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Saturday that a “holistic development program” is needed in bridging the alienation of people from these areas who are exploited by Maoists.
Singh admitted government-sponsored schemes have not worked.
“The problems of marginalised sections, many of whom live in areas affected by Left-wing extremism, call out for special attention,” Singh said, addressing the National Develop-ment Council (NDC) meeting.
The Planning Commission will meet on Monday to take a final view on which districts should be covered under the special development plan and the amount of money needed to implement it in the next three years. “The plan will be finalised soon,” commission deputy chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia said.
The Prime Minister, who also spoke about the economy, expressed satisfaction at the 8.1 per cent growth projection for the 11th Plan period that ends in 2012. He said he expects the growth to reach double digits in the 12th Plan.
“Our objective is not just growth, but inclusive growth,” he said. “This means a growth which would bring tangible benefits to the weaker sections, the SC/ST, minorities and excluded groups.”
The PM said he expects inflation to come down to 6 per cent by December this year, thanks to a normal monsoon. He also wanted state governments to invest more in agriculture.
“The commission’s assessment is that agriculture is not receiving the priority it deserves,” he said.
Singh identified strengthening of the Public Distribution System as a key reforms area following the Food Security law, which will be brought in shortly.