“State governments must be provided the necessary legislative, administrative and fiscal space to function effectively to fulfil the aspirations of the people of the state. Strong, performing states are essential for a strong Union,” Panneerselvam said, while speaking at the inaugural session of the India Today conclave here.
Late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa was a strong votary of autonomy of states, he added.
Panneerselvam also noted that South India is a rapidly growing region with states that complement each other.
“As states, we compete. We contest. We collaborate. We cooperate. We coordinate. We learn from each other and we grow. That is the true success of a healthy federal democracy,” Panneerselvam said.
According to him, the Tamil Nadu government will update its policy framework and would not only retain lead in the sectors that the state is strong in, but also make a breakthrough in emerging and sunrise sectors.
“We are the leaders in renewable energy. We will aim to lead in bio technology, information and communication technology, and the most modern techniques of manufacture,” Panneerselvam added.
Referring to the Vision 2023 document of the state government that envisages an investment of Rs 15 lakh crore in infrastructure, Panneerselvam said implementation of more than 100 of the 217 projects and programmes identified under it has already commenced.
Panneerselvam said Tamil Nadu combines a business friendly agenda with adequate attention and funding for welfare.
“There has been sustained investment in the social sectors – education, health care and support for the most vulnerable sections.
“We have today one of the best educated and skilled work force in the country. The state’s health indicators are among the best in the country,” he said.