Tamil Nadu finance minister Palanivel Thiagarajan | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Kozhikode: Schemes to ensure social justice cannot be implemented blindfolded, Tamil Nadu finance minister Palanivel Thiagarajan said Thursday.
He was speaking at an in-house interactive session at Mathrubhumi headquarters here.
“Government should carefully choose beneficiaries to ensure greater public good. Data should be given due consideration,” he said.
“The idea is not to favour anyone, but to have a look at the historical oppression and marginalisation that the individuals have faced. We have to open our eyes to see the actual situation while embracing the principle of blindfolded Lady Justice,” he pointed out.
According to him, government employees with better economic status are regularly pushed to increase their pensions, while financial assistance for groups such as the differently abled must wait decades to be changed.
He also took the opportunity to highlight the importance of economic federalism and why he is opposed to the union government’s GST. “States will have their own priorities. The union government has been taking away all direct tax sources and states are burdened to get funds,” he said.
During his speech, Thiagarajan highlighted how the Dravidian philosophy shaped Tamil Nadu’s economic policies. The fruits of the Communist movement in Kerala can be seen in its socio-economic indicators, he added.
Commenting on the question posed on mounting public debt of states including Kerala, Thiagarajan remarked that more than fiscal deficit, focus should be on curtailing revenue deficit.
According to Thiagarajan, lack of transparency and parking of government money for non-operational pursuits are counterproductive.
He further said that all governments across the country are facing issues with their archaic administrative models and money is not the major constraint. “Clarity, strategy, vision, information, institutional memory, organisational optimisation should be given focus,” he said.
Mathrubhumi director MV Shreyamskumar chaired the session and explained the media house's crucial role in societal changes including the independence movement.