Economists and planners should play a key role in keeping a vigil on the government-sponsored plans and schemes aimed at national growth and overall socio economic development, said the Union Minister of State for Finance, S.S. Palani Manickam.

Inaugurating the symposium on ‘Employment for All’ organised jointly by the Association of Economists of Tamil Nadu; the Trust for the Movement of the Economic Development of Poor Coutnries, India, and the Sri Mothi S. Rajagopal Study Centre at Urumu Dhanalakshmi College in the city on Saturday, Mr. Palani Manickam said the alleviation of poverty and registering growth in the national economic scenario were some of the primary objectives of all the government-sponsored schemes.

However, the pros and cons of these schemes, their impact on the desired goals and the methodology of the implementation of these plans should be properly gauged by eminent economic experts and frontline industrialists. The experts’ constructive criticism of the government’s plans would go a long way in guiding the rulers towards proper direction.

He also appealed to the economists to draw the attention of the rulers to the neglected sectors or uncovered segments so that the government could draft and implement suitable schemes.

Mr. Palani Manickam said that India had withstood the impact of recession. The Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in our country was more appreciable, indicating the strong base of our country’s economy even during the global economic meltdown. Reeling out statistics, he said the Centre’s special schemes such as National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, liberalisation of norms on educational loans, empowerment of women through revolving fund, and loans for self-help groups had all gone in strengthening the country’s economy to a great extent.

The president of the Association of Economists of Tamil Nadu, R. Rajendran, in his address, appealed to the delegates of the symposium to address the various economic issues of unemployment problems prevailing in the country and evolve effective recommendations.

The Chairman of the Association, Rev. A.J. Leonard; the Principal of the college K. Sekar; its president, G.R. Kalki Varadarajalu; vice-president Mothi S. Pattabiraman and the Head of Department of Economics, Neelakantan were among those who spoke.