Chennai: Observing that political power has become `fragmented`, Rajya Sabha MP NK Singh has said it was time for Congress-led UPA to "loosen" its economic control over the states.
"..Budget is not a panacea to develop the nation`s economy.. Should we not, after so many years of Independence, begin to forget what happens in Delhi and begin to see what happens in Patna, Chennai, Bhubaneshwar, or Mumbai?", Singh said, delivering his lecture on `Budget 2012`, organised by Rajaji Institute of Public Affairs here last night.
"If the central government continues to exercise (its power) on state governments` -- what schemes you should do, how should you fund it... It is time they loosen this (stand) and give up this excessive economic control over states."
Singh, who belongs to JD(U), said one should not forget that about 120 centrally sponsored schemes were being taken up.
"Where is the money for the schemes coming from?.. they have come from taking money what are normally entitled for states` and putting them in the central government`s kitty", he said.
Noting that the issue on Centre-State relations was taking `centre-stage` (in the recent past), he said, "there are too many conflicts which are taking place there (on centre-state relations).”
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had informed him that an Inter-State economic forum, to be headed by him (Mukherjee) would be set up to address the issue, Singh said.
The forum would consist of various chief ministers` so that economic issues concerning states can be discussed with the Centre, he said.
He flayed the Union Budget, saying the Centre had given the people promises and hopes "without crafting underpinnings of that hope...they have created expectations without any coherence of how those expectations are to be met.."
".. In some ways we are at cross-roads. As far as Indian economy is concerned, growth has stagnated. Politics look uncertain and future looks fragile", he said.