KARNATAKA

Centre to adopt new 20-point programme

MOODBIDRI, AUG. 1. The Union Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation, Oscar Fernandes, said today that the 20-point programme launched by the former Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, would be adopted in a new casting to reach more people.

Mr. Fernandes, who was here to inaugurate the "Kadala Kere", told The Hindu that his Ministry, which had the responsibility of programme implementation, would oversee the level, percentage and quality of implementation of government programmes and their reach. The 20-point programme had become a benchmark for growth and progress, particularly in poverty alleviation.

Stressing the need for new orientation to the 20-point programme, Mr. Fernandes said that it would focus on poverty alleviation, employment generation, and other social welfare schemes. However, since economic reforms were going alongside, the programmes could not ignore them.

He said this made the task of the Ministry more challenging, as every aspect of the programme implementation should include an element of reform. At this juncture, employment generation, particularly in the lower income category, would become imminent. Mr. Fernandes said the micro-level economy worked differently in new economic order, and poverty alleviation in relation with the grassroots level employment generation would trigger a chain of economic activities which was a stepping stone for the success of reforms. But this could only be seen in longer periods and therefore, implementation should be continuous and sustained. The strength of the Programme Implementation Ministry was in the reach of the programmes to the people.

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