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``Police need to be caring, humane’’

Monday 27 June 2005

Special Correspondent

Manmohan lays stress on good governance

NEW DELHI: There is need to ensure that our police forces and criminal justice systems are "responsible, sensitive, caring and humane," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here on Tuesday.

In his concluding remarks at the ninth meeting of the Inter-State Council here, Dr. Singh said the police and other law enforcement machinery as well as the service delivery wings were fields where the common man had an interface with the Government. "It is in these spheres that a citizen runs into the brutal, insensitive side of government, and hence the need for good governance. There is a need to ensure that our police forces and criminal justice systems are responsive, sensitive, caring and humane. They need to be not just efficient or accountable but also responsive to the citizen’s needs,’’ he said.

Dr. Singh said the service delivery wings of government - such as those providing electricity, water supply, health care, education, municipal services - had a high degree of public interface. "Here too, the principle of good governance can ensure that government-citizen interactions are pleasant and responsive," he told the Chief Ministers who attended the meeting.

Describing the increasing government expenditure as "natural," Dr. Singh said as the economy grew and became more broadbased, the Government took on many development and welfare functions. Given the rising trend in the physical and financial size of the Government, it became essential that governments functioned in an efficient, effective and accountable manner. "Even with the changes in our economy over the last decade, during which period government has reduced its role as a licensor or controller in many sectors, government continues to play a role as an umpire," he said.

He urged the Chief Ministers to initiate measures for disaster mitigation and integrate disaster management into development planning.

There was need to move away from a purely relief-centric approach and the Government was already moving in that direction.

Later, briefing reporters, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil said several Chief Ministers suggested the setting up of a commission to look into the entire gamut of Centre-State relations, a promise made by the UPA Government in the Common Minimum Programme. "The proposed commission on the lines of the Sarkaria Commission will be set up as soon as possible. ," Mr. Patil said.

See online : The Hindu

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