Stressing on equitable development through inclusive growth, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Thursday requested the district collectors to ensure that no one was excluded from the development process.

In her opening remarks at the district collectors’ conference at the secretariat, she said they had a special responsibility to expand the reach of the government schemes and programmes to the most vulnerable and marginalised sections of Society - Adi Dravidars, Tribals, Backward Classes, Most Backward Classes, Women, Children and the disabled.

“The growth model that I have adopted for Tamil Nadu is to achieve equitable development through inclusive growth. The emphasis is on the word “inclusive”,” she said.

To drive home the point that a district collector was primarily a welfare officer, she said he or she was expected to provide relief to people affected by natural calamities, local troubles and even in personal difficulties.

“The general image of the Collector in the people’s mind is not that of the coercive apparatus of government but the benevolent arm of the Government extended to the people. This is the image I would expect each one of you to live up to,” she said, quoting a scholar on Public Administration.

Pointing out that the slowdown in the national economy had also affected the growth performance of the State economy, she said the severe drought in the Tamil Nadu during 2012 had impacted growth particularly in the agriculture and allied activities sector.

“We need to focus on taking all efforts to revive economic growth and put it back on a high growth trajectory. I am quite confident that with the sustained and focussed efforts that we are undertaking across all sectors the State would be able to achieve the growth target for 2013-2014,” she said.