Development programmes should be delivered with complete honesty and with the right intentions to make them acceptable by people, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told the collectors of 60 Maoist-affected districts.
The Prime Minister, last year, had described Maoists as the biggest threat to internal security. Addressing a national workshop on accelerating development programmes in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) districts on Tuesday, Singh said the livelihoods promoted for people in backward regions “must be sustainable on the ground and not on paper alone”.
“As administrators, we must have zero-tolerance for corruption. We must demolish the invisible wall between ‘us’ and ‘them’. The programmes must be suited to the local milieu and attuned to local aspirations,” Singh said."To be persuasive, we must be believable; to be believable, we must be credible; to be credible, we must be truthful," Singh said.
Learning from the grassroots has to be the keynote of development planning for the 12th Five-Year Plan, the Prime Minister said. He advised the Planning Commission monitoring the Integrated Action Plan to bridge development gap in 60 LWE affected districts in the country.
Calling for flexibility to people's representatives and officials administering schemes at grassroots level, the Prime Minister urged them to evolve a development mechanism from own local challenges and experiences.
”You will have to learn by doing. Some things will work, some things will not work, like difficulties in establishing post offices and bank branches in LWE areas. We should experiment with the use of police stations, where ground floor can be the police station and the first floor can be the bank,” Singh said.
The ministry of rural development has proposed the Prime Minister's Rural Development Fellows Programme for young professionals between 25 and 30 years to work in LWE districts. They will support the collector and DM in the field in these areas.