Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh talked about transparency, police reforms and infrastructure deficits among others while addressing the 2nd annual conference of chief secretaries of states in
on Friday. Here are excerpts of PM’s speech: New Delhi
The problem of high inflation has persisted now for several months driven mostly by supply-side shortages, particularly those of agricultural commodities and also the rising prices of imported products, both primary commodities and petroleum products. The internal security situation has been tense in some parts of our country. There has been unacceptably high level of violence in areas affected by left-wing extremism and in the
Kashmir valley. Serious concern has been expressed in many responsible circles about the lack of ethical conduct and probity in our public life.
On Police Reforms
Let me reaffirm today that the Central government stands committed to assisting states in all possible ways in these areas. But, while the Centre can provide resources, guidance and information, the basic task of modernizing state police forces, inducting better equipment, improving the quality of police personnel and strengthening the infrastructure available to them requires the attention of the state governments. Funds are not a constraint, as the thirteenth Finance Commission has recommended substantial grants and the Central government continues making its contribution to augment the resources of the states. What is needed is a recognition of this problem, focused attention on these issues and a commitment to improving the professionalism and the quality of our police forces.
Corruption strikes at the roots of good governance. It is an impediment to faster growth. It dilutes, if not negates, our efforts at social inclusion. It dents our international image and it demeans us before our own people. This is a challenge which has to be faced frontally, boldly and quickly. As you might be aware, we have set up a Group of Ministers to look into all measures, legal or administrative, to tackle this menace. Two bills have already been introduced in Parliament relating to judicial accountability and the protection of whistle blowers. Along with legislation, the necessary revamp of administrative practices and procedures needs to be fast-tracked.
On Infrastructure DeficitsI would urge all chief secretaries to explore ways and means by which the infrastructure deficit in their state can be bridged. This is even more crucial for those states that continue to lag behind in the race for social and economic development.