Highlights of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Independence Day speech (Part 1)

     A confident Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh sent out a positive Independence Day message that he wants to resolve differences with Pakistan through dialogue, but much progress cannot be made unless terrorism emanating from its territory ends. Following are the highlights of his speech delivered on the occasion of India 's 64th Independence Day on Sunday: * The rate of our economic growth has been better than most other countries in the world. This shows the strength of our economy. * Today, India stands among the fastest growing economies of the world. As the world's largest democracy, we have become an example for many other countries to emulate. * Our citizens have the right to make their voice heard. Our country is viewed with respect all over the world. Our views command attention in international fora. * The hard work of our workers, our artisans, our farmers has brought our country to where it stands today. I specially salute our soldiers whose bravery ensures the safety of our borders. * We are building a new India in which every citizen would have a stake, an India which would be prosperous and in which all citizens would be able to live a life of honour and dignity. * An India in which all problems could be solved through democratic means. An India in which the basic rights of every citizen would be protected. * In the last few years, we have taken many significant steps. Every person living in rural areas now has the assurance of 100 days of employment through the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. The Right to Information Act is helping our citizens to become more aware. * This year our Government has enacted the Right to Education which will help every Indian to share in the benefits of the country's economic progress and also to contribute to it. * To ensure equal partnership of women in our progress, we have taken initiative for reservation for women in Parliament and in State legislatures. Apart from this, reservation for women has been increased to 50 per cent in local bodies. * Despite our many strengths, we face some serious challenges. Our society often gets divided in the name of religion, State, caste or language. We should resolve that we will not allow divisions in our society under any circumstance. * Tolerance and generosity have been a part of our traditions. We should strengthen these traditions. As we progress economically our society should also become more sensitive. We should be modern and progressive in our outlook. * The growth rate of our agriculture has increased substantially in the last few years. But we are still far from achieving our goal. We need to increase the agricultural growth rate to 4 per cent per annum. * Our Government wants a food safety net in which no citizen of ours would go hungry. This requires enhanced agricultural production which is possible only by increasing productivity. * We need technology, which would address the needs of dry land agriculture. In addition, our agriculture should also be able to deal with new challenges like climate change, falling levels of ground water and deteriorating quality of soil. * I am happy to announce that the Borlaug Institute of South Asia is being established in India . This institute would facilitate availability of new and improved seeds and new technology to the farmers of India and other countries of South Asia . * We have always taken care to provide remunerative prices to farmers so that they are encouraged to increase production. But one effect of providing higher prices to farmers is that food prices in the open market also increase. * I know that in the last few months high inflation has caused you difficulties. Today, I do not want to go into the detailed reasons for high inflation. But, I would certainly like to say that we are making every possible effort to tackle this problem. I am also confident that we will succeed in these efforts. * It is our responsibility that we manage our economy with prudence so that our development is not affected adversely in the future because of high debt. * The subsidy on petroleum products has been increasing every year. It had become necessary therefore to increase the prices of petroleum products. If this had not been done, it would not have been possible for our budget to bear the burden of subsidy and our programmes for education, health and employment of the poor would have been adversely affected. * We want the fruits of development to reach the common man. We still stand committed to the welfare of the poor, the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, minorities, women and other backward sections of our society. * Today we do not need many new programmes to achieve our goals. However, we do need to implement the schemes we have already started more effectively, minimizing the chances of corruption and misuse of public money. We want to achieve this in partnership with the State Governments, Panchayat Raj Institutions and civil society groups. * Our Government is committed to maintain communal peace and harmony. We also consider it our duty to protect the minorities and provide for their special needs. This is why we have started many new programmes - We will vigorously take this work forward. * We have been giving special attention to education and health in the last six years. It is our endeavour that every child, irrespective of whether he is rich or poor and which section of the society he belongs to, should be given an education that enables him to realize his potential and makes him a responsible citizen of our country. * We will soon bring a Bill to Parliament for constitution of two separate councils in higher education and health respectively so that reforms in these two areas can be accelerated. * Nutritious food and good health services are necessary but not enough for ensuring good health of our citizens. We also need cleanliness and good sanitation in our villages, towns and cities. * I would like our children to be taught the importance of cleanliness and hygiene in schools from the very beginning under a campaign for a Clean India. I appeal to the State Governments, Panchayat Raj Institutions, civil society groups and common citizens to make this campaign successful. * We need to use our natural resources with care and prudence. Our government will endeavour to take care of environmental concerns in our projects for economic development. * There is a large deficit in our physical infrastructure which affects our economic development adversely. The resources required to create good physical infrastructure are difficult for the Government alone to mobilize. Therefore, we have endeavoured to involve the private sector in our efforts. About one and half a months back, I dedicated a new terminal of the Delhi airport to the nation. This is an excellent terminal which has been completed in record time. We will continue to make such efforts to improve our physical infrastructure.

Custom Search



Home    Contact Us
NOTE:
 Free contributions of articles and reports may be sent to indianewstimes@yahoo.com
DISCLAIMER
All Rights Reserved © indiatraveltimes.com