Shillong, Sept 15 (IANS): Chief Minister Mukul Sangma has said the developmental model of Meghalaya is good to be replicated by other states of the country, asserting that his government is trying to do away with the beneficiary system to step up growth and empower people.
Sangma was replying to a question during an interactive session organised by Northeast Information and Communication Technology (NICT), an initiative to usher software revolution in that part of the country, and 'The Telegraph' newspaper late Friday night.
During the interaction, Sangma said without elaborating that Meghalaya is trying to do away with the beneficiary system in the state, and that this concept is an offshoot of the strong belief of the government that it needs to empower people. Under the beneficiary system the government doles out aids and subsidies to different sections of the people.
"When we are going to empower people, I don't think that the concept of beneficiaries is going to empower people. If we are to empower people, we have to transform our society so that it is made up of people who are capable of being vigilant and capable of contributing towards growth," the chief minister said.
He added: "When you build a partnership, you give due respect and dignity to your partners...our democracy has been designed in such a way that the citizenry of the state is given due respect and dignity through empowerment."
"Therefore, we firmly believe that we must re-strategise our approach and the concept of always seeing the people as beneficiaries must be done away with," Sangma said.
Maybe this is one of the things that Meghalaya is doing which can be replicated in the future by other states, the chief minister opined.
Stating that the system of beneficiaries has always made the people dependent on the government, Sangma said the government has designed its new investment policy in such a way that every programme that is being implemented starts with the mobilisation of the masses.
"The people are told what can be done through a partnership that is built, what is expected from the partners under such a partnership, and what can be done by the government under the same and how to proceed as partners," he said.
Pointing out that the political system itself creates a situation where there is discrimination, Sangma said his government wanted to do away with this kind of discrimination because only when everybody is empowered they are capable of contributing to a sustained growth.
"When our people are not productive and are not able of contributing to growth, you will always have problems. You will have growth but then you will also always slip back down," he said.
"This will lead to a situation where there is always uncertainty and a division in the society besides frustration and anger which results in a loss of confidence in the system which leads to a situation where there is a threat to democracy," Sangma said.