Welcoming the “comprehensive and inclusive” roadmap of the Narendra Modi government on various issues spelt out by President Pranab Mukherjee, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Monday said it had raised expectations on performance and delivery against the ambitious goals that the government has set for itself.
The President's address steered clear of "contentious and divisive issues and augurs well for the nation in the coming five years," she said in a statement.
Jayalalithaa said she welcomed "the very comprehensive and inclusive address" delivered by the President to the joint sitting of Parliament after the Lok Sabha polls. The address outlined the policy priorities of the new government "very eloquently and with clarity," she said.
Jayalalithaa said issues in key sectors have been covered and welcomed proposals like emphasis on improving the lives of the poor, priority to rural infrastructure, increasing public and private investments in agriculture and water conservation.
She lauded the 'progressive ideas' in education sector including breaking down the divide between formal education and skill development and gave thumbs up for emphasis on sports in holistic education and the National Sports Talent Search Mission.
She said she was looking forward to the New Health Policy and recalled her government's 'ambitious target' of Tamil Nadu becoming 'Open Defecation Free' by 2015.
She also expressed happiness over the Centre's commitment to provide 33 per cent reservation to women in Parliament and state legislatures and applauded the 'inclusive spirit' of the President’s address which she said had addressed issues relating to "all disadvantaged sections" including SC/STs,BCs, minorities and the specially-abled persons.
Centre's "co-operative federalism" was praiseworthy and it will restore the federal spirit that had been diluted in the previous decade, Jayalalithaa said.
"I look forward to the concrete shape such co-operative federalism would take and using it to further the development agenda of Tamil Nadu. After all it takes strong states to have a strong Union," she said.
Jayalalithaa said while she was not opposed to the support the Centre gives to specific states, she would only urge the government to carefully consider the implications of granting fiscal incentives, especially area based tax exemptions, taking into account the economic activity in neighbouring states.
The implementation of Goods and Services Tax after addressing the concerns of the states, focus on infrastructure and industry, building 100 new cities and setting up tourist circuits also received her support.
With Centre batting for modernisation of state police forces, she expected a substantial increase in the allocation for Tamil Nadu.
The establishment of the National Maritime Authority to safeguard the maritime boundary was a welcome initiative and governments of maritime states should be fully involved in such an authority, she suggested.
The President’s Address has raised expectations on performance and delivery against the ambitious goals that the government has set for itself. "The people of India will hold the new government to account for all these promises and raised expectations," she said and extended her government's support to the Centre to realise fully the fruits of development for Tamil Nadu.