Govts Doling out Freebies, Need Wider debate on harmonising welfare: VP

New Delhi: M Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President and Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, called for a broader debate on harmonising welfare and development goals in the face of governments "doling out freebies" on Saturday. He also stated that Parliament and state legislatures should meet for at least 100 days each year.

Naidu said spending must be properly controlled so that both short-term and long-term development objectives receive equal attention during an event in the Central Hall of Parliament to honour the 100th anniversary of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

We are all aware of the current situation in which governments indulge in the practise of handing out freebies for apparent reasons. While governments must provide the welfare and social security of the poor, it is past time for a broader debate on how to align welfare and development goals, he remarked in the presence of President Ram Nath Kovind, Speaker Om Birla, and PAC chairperson Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.

"It may be in order for the Committee to study the question of balancing these two aims for wider consideration," he said, because the PAC needs to look at the efficacy of resource utilisation in terms of socio-economic consequences. He bemoaned the fact that members of Parliament do not attend legislative committee hearings. It was time to engage in some "introspection."

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