As the opposition BJP accused the UPA government of "communal budgeting" in the 11th Plan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday spoke of equity concerns in development.
Addressing the National Development Council (NDC) in the Capital, Singh said, "In a nutshell what I am drawing your attention to can be termed as our equity concerns. Equity is the foundation on which our democratic polity has to rest and thrive. It is the basis on which our citizens develop a sense of ownership of the state and its organs."
He said both the Centre and states need to work with a purpose to achieve common developmental and equity goals.
"Development is a process that should not divide but unite. All of us need to zero in on the basic task of development and work with a new sense of direction and focus," he added.
The Prime Minister said the 11th Plan has special emphasis on the problems of minorities, SCs and STs. It has specific, focused programmes, both for skill development and education and also for improving the basic infrastructure in areas inhabited predominantly by them.
"High growth has not made as much of an impact on poverty reduction as we would have liked. Poverty is coming down, but not fast enough," the Prime Minister said.