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Country in grip of pessimism due to policy paralysis: Modi

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi and Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh greeting each other during the 57th National Development Council Meeting on Thursday, 27th Dec, 2012.   -  Ramesh Sharma

Calls for setting up National Natural Resources Commission

Emerging more confident after his third successive victory, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi launched a fresh attack on the Centre on Thursday by saying that the country was in the grip of pessimism because of ‘policy paralysis, intellectual bankruptcy and lack of leadership’.

In Delhi soon after swearing in as Chief Minister, Modi, said, “Lack of policy direction and leadership were leading the country on the path of negative growth.”

At a time when the world was looking at India in the context of development, there was a sense of pessimism from the ones who were leading the nation, he told reporters on the sidelines of the National Development Council Meeting here.

Questioning the Centre for blaming the international economic situation for slow growth, Modi pointed out how some States, including Gujarat, were performing better. “The Centre can blame the international situation, but who should the States point at?” he said.

Modi also suggested setting up a National Natural Resources Commission on the lines of the Finance Commission which discusses the allocation of grants to States every five years. The proposed commission, with State representation, should decide on the natural resource quotas and utilisation.

He said the country was facing a ‘demographic opportunity’ as 65 per cent of the population was young and pitched for youth-centric growth focussing on skill development. He claimed that the Planning Commission had studied the Gujarat model for skill development and recommended it to other States.

Earlier, in his speech, Modi said, “It seems that there is no urgency or seriousness in tackling economic crises facing the country. There has been a virtual lack of direction in the macro-economic management.”

Attacking the Government for lowering the growth target for the 12th Plan, Modi said though the target of nine per cent, talked about last year, appeared ambitious, “In this context, it is painful to note the unmistakable sense of pessimism in the 12th Plan document. Significantly lowering the growth targets of the 12th Plan will further add to the mood of despondency and pessimism and cast increasing doubts on the sustainability of the India growth story,” he said.

The Gujarat Chief Minister also attacked the Centre for taking “unilateral” decisions and said it should resist the temptation to tinker with the federal structure mandated by the Constitution.

shishir.sinha@thehindu.co.in

Published on December 27, 2012

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