Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday urged the Central government to make the States take up what he called as productive spending to galvanise the economy of the country.
Speaking at the 30th southern zonal council meeting, chaired by Union Home Minister Shah, here, Vijayan said there was a need for discussion on the proposed laws based on the concurrent list of the 7th Schedule of the Constitution before they were enacted.
The meeting was attended by Chief Ministers of the southern States and Union Territories. Among them were Pinarayi Vijayan and his Tamil Nadu counterpart M K Stalin.
"There can be contestations, but through discussions and debates, consensus can emerge narrowing down the areas of differences. This is the essence of a healthy federal democracy," Vijayan said.
He recalled the co-operative spirit with which the States faced the situation in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Differences stood apart and we rose to the need of the hour to protect and provide the people relief. Though the immediate threat has receded, the fiscal empowerment of the Union and the States are of equal importance to meet the long impact of the pandemic on the economy. I take this opportunity to request the central government to take a pro-active stand to enable the States to undertake productive spending to galvanise the national economy," he said.
Vijayan called for taking up major issues like coastal erosion, upgradation of railways and airport infrastructure as they were important to livelihood and the economy.
He said the zonal councils have a role in fostering the spirit of co-operative federalism and one of its important functions was to resolve emerging issues.
"More important is learning of success stories and varied experiences of one another and attempt to adapt them to each State according to prevailing circumstances. In our Constitutional set-up, representatives to all tiers of the government are elected by the people, who gave unto themselves the Constitution. Power is not to be envisaged as a hierarchical and pyramidal structure, but as one which moves in concentric circles, with each tier of government having its defined territorial jurisdiction," Vijayan said.
The Left leader pointed out that thousands of pilgrims from the southern States who visit the Sabarimala temple in Kerala are treated as honoured guests.
Vijayan sought the opinion of the Chief Ministers and the Governors on further improving the facilities extended to the pilgrims.
He said co-operative federalism requires continuous exchange of ideas between all the stakeholders. The zonal council meeting was for southern States and Union Territories.
(With inputs from PTI)