इंडियन आवाज़     03 Dec 2023 02:10:11      انڈین آواز

PM pledges to root out corruption

Replying to the debate in both Houses of Parliament on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address to the Joint Sitting of Parliament on Thursday, Dr. Manmohan Singh assured the members that everything will be done to cleanse public life. He said that the government will cooperate with all agencies including the JPC and the PAC in the investigations till the truth is brought out. He said that some unfortunate developments have taken place in Telecom and Commonwealth Games and these are being addressed. He said action has been taken where there was credible and actionable evidence and the CBI is on the trail of wrong doers. He however said that any investigation should not hamper the growth of Telecom sector in the country.

Referring to the Antrix Devas deal, the Prime Minister said that the government’s approval for the agreement was not given and the contract has been annulled. He said that a high level committee has been constituted to look into the commercial aspects and to fix the responsibilities. Responding to the concerns with regard to black money stashed in foreign banks, the Prime Minister said that steps are being taken like negotiating new legal treaties with other countries for smooth flow of information on black money.

The Prime Minister said that the entire world is hailing the economic model being pursued by India. Dr. Singh asserted that Indian economy clocked a growth of 8.5 per cent despite international financial meltdown, emerging the second fastest growing economy in the world. The country has 300 billion dollars Foreign Exchange besides adequate food stocks.

Strongly refuting opposition charge on government’s will to tackle inflation he said the challenge before the government is to maintain a balance between growth and prices.

Dr. Singh admitted that high rate of inflation has been a problem for the last 18 months and gave details of the measures taken to deal with it. Sharing the concern of the members on high food inflation, he called for strengthening the public distribution system and improving agriculture productivity. He also referred to international developments including the rising prices of crude oil and commodities which resulted in high inflation. Dr. Singh said that the rate of inflation will come to around 7 per cent by the end of this fiscal. The Prime Minister also referred to the MGNREGA – an employment guarantee scheme which has provided jobs to five crore people including women and weaker sections. Dr. Singh assured the House that the National Food Security Bill will be brought in Parliament. He however added it is important to have higher growth trajectory to create employment opportunities. The growth rate is expected to touch 9 per cent.

On internal security situation, the Prime Minister said that the security apparatus has been strengthened after Mumbai terror attacks but the situation continues to remain highly uncertain and there is a need to keep a strict vigil. Referring to the North East, he said that the ULFA leadership has come to the negotiating table which is a welcome step. On Jammu and Kashmir he said, that there is no place secessionist elements. He hoped that the situation will further improve in the state. The Prime Minister said that the menace of terrorism has to be fought unitedly. He urged all the political parties to join hands to strengthen communal peace and amity in the country.

On foreign policy, he said that New Delhi is ready to discuss all outstanding issues with Pakistan provided Islamabad stops using it soil for terror activities against India. Dr. Singh referred to growing importance of India at the international scene and said leaders of all the five Permanent Members of UNSC visited India this year. Talking about the future, he said that eradicating poverty, access to health and education and addressing the challenge of climate change are the priorities of the government and sought cooperation of members in achieving these objectives. Strongly refuting the opposition remarks on governance, Dr. Singh made it clear that the government is focused and has not lost sight of long term goals. The two Houses later adopted the Motion of Thanks on the President’s address after negating the amendments moved by some members.

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