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Ker Guv seeks restructuring of Centre-State relations

Ker Guv seeks restructuring of Centre-State relations

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 25 (PTI) Kerala Governor P Sathasivam Friday came down on the Union government for "penalising" the state for its achievements in various fields and sought a restructuring of Centre-state relations. Delivering his customary policy address in the state Assembly marking the beginning of its 14th session, he said the restructuring should be in such a way that it would enrich both the Centre and the state. The imbalance caused by the detrimental effects of "unhealthy" centre-state relations in general and the fiscal relations in particular have put Kerala at a "great disadvantage" in furthering the advances it has already made in several sectors, he said. "It is rather unfortunate that the state has been penalised for achievements it made in various fields such as health, education and social well-being," he said. As Kerala had progressed and achieved gains in these sectors and the Centre chose not to further aid these areas, the state is at a loss to understand the criteria with which it is deprived of its rightful share in the amount earmarked for it, he said. "Our gains should not be a reason for the losses that we currently have to bear," the Governor added. However, Sathasivam thanked the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre for "effectively" helping the state during the worst flood of the century last August. He said the Kerala government had requested the Centre to enhance its borrowing limit to mobilise additional resources for rebuilding the flood-hit state. "We are still awaiting a favourable response from the Central government in this regard," Sathasivam added. Outlining the development policy of the Communist Party of India(Marxist)-led Left Democratic Front government, the Governor said it was planning to provide at least "one job to one tribal family" with an aim to ensure the welfare of the marginalised sections. The LDF government intends to improve coastal shipping to reduce the burden on inland transportation, he said, adding that Azheekkal, Kollam and Beypore ports were being developed with basic infrastructure facilities to enable handling cargo and passengers. An online Intelligent Building Plan and Management System (IBPMS) would be introduced this year to issue building permits in a transparent and citizen-friendly manner, he said. Based on the experience of successfully containing the Nipah outbreak and post-flood epidemics last year, the LDF government would implement a "Comprehensive Disease Surveillance Programme" with the support of World Health Organisation (WHO). The Left government had already created 45 lakh square feet of IT space during the last two years and proposed to scale it to one crore sq ft in future, the Governor said in his 90 minute-long address. Before the Governor began his speech, members of the Congress-led opposition United Democratic Front held a banner criticising the government for not taking up rebuilding measures in a time-bound manner."Listen to my speech, every answer is there," Sathasivam told the opposition members. PTI LGK UD SS RHL