Hyderabad: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday said that developing countries need a legal system conducive to both rapid economic development and promoting equitable distribution of the fruits of development.
"The developing countries need a legal system which is conducive both to rapid economic development and which also has built in mechanism to promote equitable distribution of fruits and gains of development," he said while inaugurating the 17th Commonwealth Law Conference in Hyderabad.
Manmohan Singh said that the government is committed to the pursuit of inclusive economic growth.
"The welfare of the poor and the common man is the centerpiece of our policies," he told the gathering of over 800 judges, lawyers and other legal practitioners from 54 countries of the Commonwealth. The five-day biennial conference is being held in India after a gap of 40 years.
The prime minister claimed that the story of India`s economic growth remains firmly anchored in the Nehruvian vision of an egalitarian society.
"We have remained steadfast in our commitment to implement constitutional directives to ensure that our policies and laws uphold human dignity. While opening up our economy and freeing it from the shackles of bureaucratic controls over the years we have endeavoured to pursue distributive justice as mandative in our magnificent constitution," he said.
Citing various articles of the constitution, the prime minister said inclusive growth was an unfinished project and the nation had a long way to go in this direction.
"Irrevocable commitment to democracy based on rule of law remains the proudest achievement of Indian state since independence. Our understanding of the rule of law as the sheer anchor of democratic and a just society is inextricably linked to the preservation of individual liberty and freedom of all our citizens."
"We believe that the powers of state to be applied to the advancement of the basic human rights of all our citizens but at the same time it should be so constrained by rule of law as to advance civil and political rights of an individual and thus prevent oppressive governance," he added.
The PM said he was of the firm belief that the solution to mass poverty can be found only in the framework of a rapidly growing economy.
"It is my firm belief that meaningful and effective solutions to the problems of mass poverty that prevails in many developing countries can be found only in the framework of a rapidly expanding economy. Rapid economic growth is a prime necessity. It is necessary to create a macro economic environment that is conducive to the promotion of savings, investment, entrepreneurship, innovation and management of rapid technological changes," the prime minister pointed out.
He also said sound legal system based on the rule of law and its effective and speedy enforcement were the major determinants of the favourable macro economic environment.
He said the rule of law can no longer be divorced from global policy challenges.
"The challenges the world community faces as a whole demand a purposeful alignment of domestic policies and laws with the evolving international laws and norms. This is necessary to address the common challenges facing the humanity as a whole. These include international terrorism, persistence of poverty, malnutrition amidst rapid growth, protection of human rights, problems of climate change and energy security," said the prime minister.
Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily, Chief Justice of India SH Kapadia, Chief Justice of Pakistan Ifthikar Muhammed Chaudhry, Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL Narasimhan, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamlesh Sharma and others were present on the occasion.
Human rights, constitutionalism, rule of law and rights of religious minorities are some of the important issues that will be deliberated upon over the five days.