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Strike a balance between welfare, growth: Jayaprakash Narayan

VISAKHAPATNAM: Lok Satta founder-president Jayaprakash Narayan has said budgets in States and the Centre are losing steam due to mounting debts. The government should strike a balance between welfare and development, he said.

Speaking to mediapersons here on Monday, he said both Telugu States are effectively implementing welfare schemes for the poor people. He said none will oppose continuation of welfare schemes since the poor need a helping hand to alleviate their sufferings.

The governments were purely sustaining on borrowed money and taking heavy loans. Loans should be taken for spending on long term benefits by creating wealth through infrastructure, irrigation and industries, he opined.

He said the State should follow Odisha, which is maintaining a fine balance in financial expenditure. “Though Odisha is a poor State, it is maintaining fiscal discipline. Other States like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are also doing relatively better.

There is a need for a national debate on this issue. However, since the issue is being politicised any debate on this should be apolitical and should be issue-based. Unfortunately the parties are focusing on welfare schemes with an eye on elections and votes, ignoring development,” he rued.

JP said AP has taken good initiatives in education and health. The YSRC government is focusing on developing school infrastructure and skills of students. JP said he brought to the notice of the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister about the need for a fiscal discipline for economic growth.

He welcomed the family doctor concept being initiated by the YSRC government as it will help meet primary health needs of a large number of people in rural and semi-urban areas. However, steps should be taken to ensure effective implementation of the concept. Aarogyasri launched by former chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy has become a role model for several States, including the Ayushman Bharat launched by the Modi government, he said.

It is a welcome move that the YSRC government wants to further extend the scheme. The family doctor concept is good but people should be allowed to choose their doctor instead of forcing them to go to a particular physician. The government can open two health centres with a pool of 10 doctors in each Assembly constituency, he suggested.

He released a draft on health for all on the occasion. JP prepared the document on health for all based on a study on strengths and weaknesses of the health system in the country. A delegation of the Lok Satta will meet Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy soon and submit the document so as to consider the proposals for implementation, he said.

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