इंडियन आवाज़     25 Feb 2024 04:57:49      انڈین آواز

Hunger strikes will not end corruption: PM

Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort after unfurling the tricolour on the occasion on India’s Independence Day Dr. Singh made it clear that resorting to hunger strikes and fast unto death will not help in curbing corruption.

Singh said no government has a “magic wand” to deal with the problem of corruption which needs to be tackled on many fronts and asked all political parties to stand shoulder to shoulder in this fight.

“Those who don’t agree with this bill can put forward their views to Parliament, political parties and even the press. However, I also believe they should not resort to hunger strikes and fasts-unto-death,” Singh said.

Acknowledging that corruption is a big obstacle in national transformation, he said the menace should be discussed in a manner that should not create an atmosphere in which country’s progress comes into question.

Speaking from Lal Qila amid rains, the Prime Minister touched on a variety of subjects including the sensitive land acquisition issue, naxalism, terrorism, economy and inflation.

On inflation Prime Minister said: “We are continuously monitoring the situation (on inflation) to find out what new steps can be taken to arrest rising prices. Finding a solution to this problem will be our top-most priority in the coming months,”

He said that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has taken steps, like tightening of monetary policy, to rein in rising prices, but, Dr Singh said, “We have been confronted with a situation in which the reasons for rising prices lay outside the country.”

The prices of petroleum products, foodgrains and edible oil have gone up steeply in international markets in recent times. Both food and general inflation have remained stubbornly high and are near the double digit marks.

The Prime Minister said  the nagging inflation situation can be tackled by increasing supply of essential commodities, and complemented farmers for India’s record foodgrain production. According to fourth advance estimates, the country has achieved a record 241.56 million tonnes of foodgrains production during 2010-11 crop year (July-June). He assured the people worst affected by price rise that the government will soon enact legislation for providing food security to them.

He said there was a need for a framework in which the judiciary becomes more accountable. And with this aim a Judicial Accountability Bill has been introduced in the Parliament. He said there was  a need to improve justice delivery system to punish the corrupt quickly. Saying there is no magic wand to eradicate corruption, he wanted all political parties to stand shoulder to shoulder to fight the menace. The Prime Minister exuded confidence that the fight against corruption will be won only when every citizens cooperate in the battle.

On tension witnessed in some parts of the country over land acquisition for industry, infrastructure and urbanisation, Dr. Singh said though the acquisition is necessary for projects of public interest it should take place in a transparent and fair manner. The interest of those whose livelihood is dependent on the land should be protected.

It should be ensured that no injustice is done to anyone in the process. He said the government wants to replace the 117 year old Land Acquisition law by a new legislation and the draft bill is already prepared and soon it could be introduced in the Parliament.

Calling for second green revolution in agriculture, the Prime Minister said food-grain production went up because of the hard work of the farmers and there is need to implement a Food Security law to step up the output. He assured the farmers that the government will continue to take care of their special needs including easy access to fertilizers, seeds and credit.

Turning to terrorism, Dr. Singh called for fighting the menace jointly by the Central and State governments and common man. He said last month’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai have warned that there cannot be any slip in the vigilance. He said the intelligence and security agencies are being steadily strengthened and the process will continue in future. Dr. Manmohan Singh gave an assurance that all possible steps will be taken to overcome the challenge of Naxalism and to eradicate the root cause of the menace.

He said a new scheme for the accelerated development of 60 backward and tribal dominated districts have been started with an outlay of 3300 crore rupees.

Recalling the seven years of his government’s performance in sustaining the progress of the nation, the Prime Minister said a lot has been done but more needs to be achieved. People have high aspirations and the young men and women are striving for path breaking achievements. Their energy and enthusiasm should be channelised into nation building activities. The industry should have the opportunity to come up with the new units for productive employment. He warned against climate changes and promised to come up with a monitoring authority to streamline environment clearances to the industry.

The Prime Minister said that the government will focus on health and education, a slum free environment and removal of malnutrition. Dr. Singh said the government has decided to appoint a commission to make recommendations for improvement at all levels of education.
Concluding his speech, he said one must have faith in the democracy, institutions and social ideals and values and above all in oneself. He called upon the people to resolve to build a bright future for the nation.

Earlier, the Prime Minister paid homage at Rajghat, the Samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi. Elaborated security arrangement was made in the capital with armed security personnel manning Delhi streets to prevent any untoward incidents.

Highlights of PM Independence Address

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