1. Independence Day address: PM Manmohan Singh blames lack of political consensus for slow growth

    NEW DELHI: Battling the charge of policy paralysis in the government, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday blamed lack of political consensus for slow growth and vowed to do everything to boost economy through investments while linking development processes to national security.

    Addressing the nation from the ramparts of historic Red Fort on the occasion of 66th Independence Day, he promised to work for reducing corruption in public life and sought the help of all political parties in passing the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill in Parliament in this regard.

    During his 35-minute speech in Hindi, Singh made a host of announcements in social sector like expanding the national health scheme and electrification, undertaking skill development and assessment of teachers.

    The 79-year-old economist Prime Minister also sought to encourage foreign investors, who have been apprehensive after certain recent taxation decisions, that there would be "no barriers" to investment in India.

    He referred to violence in Assam and promised that the causes would be looked into and steps taken to ensure that such incidents are not repeated anywhere else.

    He highlighted that internal security in the country, including Jammu and Kashmir, had improved but said the recent blasts in Pune were a reminder that more needed to be done.

    In his ninth consecutive Independence Day address, only the third Prime Minister to do so after Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, Singh said there was a need to "introspect what remains to be done" so that "we learn from our failures and build on our successes".

    "As far as creating an environment within the country for rapid economic growth is concerned, I believe that we are not being able to achieve this because of a lack of political consensus on many issues," Singh said.

    "Time has now come to view the issues which affect our development processes as matters of national security," he said.

    The statement assumes significance as the government has been facing the charge of policy paralysis with key economic reforms decisions, like FDI in retail, being stuck due to opposition by allies.

    The Prime Minister said India was being affected by the "difficult phase" encountered by the global economy.

    "Also there have been domestic developments which are hindering our economic growth," he said, pointing out that last year, the GDP grew by 6.5 per cent.

    Hoping to "do a little better" this year, Singh said, "I believe that this period of difficulties will not last long. Even as we face these problems, we should be encouraged by the fact that we have achieved extraordinary successes in many areas in the last 8 years. We now need to replicate these successes in newer areas."

    He said the government will leave no stone unturned to encourage investment in the country so that entrepreneurs can make a substantial contribution to the economy.

    "To attract foreign capital, we will have to create confidence at the international level that there are no barriers to investment in India," he said.

    Foreign investors have been apprehensive after some recent decisions on tax matters like retrospective amendment and General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR).

    Talking about corruption over which his government has been facing an onslaught from civil society and opposition, Singh said, "We will continue our efforts to bring more transparency and accountability in the work of public servants and to reduce corruption."

    While doing so, steps will be taken to see that the morale of public functionaries taking decisions in public interest is not affected because of baseless allegations and unnecessary litigation, he said.

    In this context, Singh referred to the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill which was passed by the Lok Sabha last year and is now pending with the Rajya Sabha.

    "We hope that all political parties will help us in passing this Bill in the Rajya Sabha," he said.

    "Our commitment to make the work of the government and administration transparent and accountable stands," he said.

    "But we will also take care that these measures do not result in a situation in which the morale of public functionaries taking decisions in public interest gets affected because of baseless allegations and unnecessary litigation," the Prime Minister said.

    He also referred to the Public Procurement Bill and said such measures will increase transparency in decision making.

    Among the announcements, Singh said the National Rural Health Mission will be expanded to cover all towns of the country by converting the scheme into National Health Mission.

    The NRHM was launched in 2005 to provide health services in every village in the country.

    The Prime Minister said the government is also formulating a scheme for distribution of free medicines through government hospitals and health centres.

    He said in a bid to create new job opportunities for youth in the coming years, government is making efforts to put in place a system for training 8 crore people in many new skills.

    "We also wish to provide short duration training courses of 6 weeks to 6 months...the National Skill Development Council has formulated a major scheme for skill development in which 8 crore people will be trained in the next 5 years," he said.

    He said the government is considering the establishment of a National Skill Development Authority so that skill development programmes all over the country can be implemented in a coordinated manner.

    "We would also need contribution from the private sector and non-Governmental organisations in this work," the Prime Minister said.

    He also said the government was targeting to provide electricity to each and every household in our country in the next 5 years and to also improve the supply of electricity.

    Independence Day address: PM Manmohan Singh blames lack of political consensus for slow growth - The Times of India
     
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  3. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    he is right in some regard.

    FDI in india is imp for $$$$$ and economy.but de to

    this aunty

    [​IMG]
     
  4. There are no Words to describe the disappointment that i feel when
    I hear the Man in charge of India's Destiny deciding to put this Historical Opportunity to no better use then
    to whine about his Political handicaps to its citizens and to throw their way a few Rhetorical and Empty promises,

    This is the man that Mohamed ElBaradei, once described as "the model of what a political leader should be." ,
    I wonder today if the Egyptian revolutionary doesn't regret his words .

    A list of Shoulds and Should Nots, Glorification of his numerous failures and under achievements, a misplaced hope
    and a begging bowl pretty much sums up all that he has to offer on perhaps the Most celebrated day for a Patriotic Indian.

    Not a word of Inspiration, nothing that has an impact on shaping of national consciousness,
    not even something marks out the Monumental moment that this day signifies in the course of Indian History .

    His speech probably even fails badly as a Political Manifesto . A Direct Apology would probably have earned him greater respect.

    As I grapple with the letdown that his speech is I wonder if its My disappointment that is greater or the annoyance at the futility of it
    being directed at a mere puppet, while the Italian who probably smirks quietly at the joke she plays on her colonial subjects is seated comfortably unscathed at the front row.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
    VIP likes this.
  5. The PMO version (Highlights)


    -- You are aware that these days the global economy is passing through a difficult phase. We cannot do much about the conditions that prevail outside our country. But we must make every effort to resolve the problems inside our country so that our economic growth and the creation of employment opportunities in the country are again speeded up.

    -- If we do not increase the pace of the country’s economic growth, take steps to encourage new investment in the economy, improve the management of Government finances and work for the livelihood security of the common man and energy security of the country, then it most certainly affects our national security.

    -- I believe that this period of difficulties will not last long. Even as we face these problems, we should be encouraged by the fact that we have achieved extraordinary successes in many areas in the last 8 years. We now need to replicate these successes in newer areas.

    -- Today, one out of every 5 households in the country has become eligible to benefit from the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Act through a job card. In only the last one year we have provided employment to more than 8 crore people under this scheme.

    -- When the UPA Government came to power in 2004, we had promised that we would provide electricity to all villages. To fulfill this promise, we launched the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Electrification Scheme. More than 1 lakh new villages have been provided with electricity connections under this scheme and now almost all the villages in the country have been electrified. Our next target is to provide electricity to each and every household in our country in the next 5 years and to also improve the supply of electricity.

    -- Today almost all children in the age group 6-14 years are being admitted to schools. More than 51,000 new schools have been opened in the country and about 7 lakh teachers appointed in them in just the last 2 years. Now we will focus on improving the quality of education. In the next few months we will put in place a system of continuous assessment of the benefit our children are getting from teaching. Participation of the community and parents would be ensured so that they can be satisfied with the quality of teaching.

    -- The National Skill Development Council has formulated a major scheme for skill development in which 8 crore people will be trained in the next 5 years. This is an ambitious scheme which can be implemented only through a specialized agency of the Central Government. Therefore, we are considering the establishment of a National Skill Development Authority so that skill development programmes all over the country can be implemented in a coordinated manner.

    -- Recently we have taken new measures to accelerate infrastructure development. Ambitious targets have been fixed in roads, airports, railways, electricity generation and coal production. The Government will take steps to increase investment for infrastructure development with the help of the private sector. To attract foreign capital, we will have to create confidence at the international level that there are no barriers to investment in India.

    -- Just 10 years back only 3 out of every 10 households in our villages were benefitting from banking services. Today more than half of the rural households get the benefit of bank accounts. It will be our endeavour to ensure that all households benefit from bank accounts in the next 2 years.

    -- We want to create a system in which money from Government schemes - pension for old people, scholarship for students and wages for labourers - can be credited directly into people’s bank accounts. This would reduce inconvenience to the beneficiaries, make it easy for them to receive payment and increase transparency. For this work, we will take help from the Aadhar scheme under which about 20 crore people have been registered so far.

    -- To provide housing for our poor brothers and sisters residing in urban areas of our country we will soon launch the Rajiv Housing Loan Scheme. Under this scheme, people belonging to the economically weaker sections would be given relief on interest for housing loans of less than Rs. 5 lakh.

    --The incidents of violence which occurred in Assam recently are very unfortunate. I know that these incidents have resulted in the disruption of the lives of a large number of people. We fully sympathize with those families which have been affected by the violence. We are doing everything possible to provide relief to them. I also promise to you that our Government will make every effort to understand the reasons behind the violence and work hard with the State Governments to ensure that such incidents are not repeated in any part of the country.

    --I would like to congratulate our scientists and technologists who have enhanced our prestige by successfully testing the Agni V Missile and launching the RISAT- I Satellite in space this year. Recently the Cabinet has approved the Mars Orbiter Mission. Under this Mission, our spaceship will go near Mars and collect important scientific information. This spaceship to Mars will be a huge step for us in the area of science and technology.

    --Our Government has set up a committee to examine issues relating to pay and pension of armed forces personnel. This committee will also look into matters concerning pension of retired men and officers and family pension being paid to their families. We will take prompt action on the recommendations of the committee, once they are received.

    --Our commitment to make the work of the Government and administration transparent and accountable stands. On the last Independence Day, I promised you that we would take many steps for this purpose. I am happy to state that during the last 1 year we have achieved good progress in this area. The Lok Sabha has cleared the Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill. We hope that all political parties will help us in passing this Bill in the Rajya Sabha. A number of other Bills have also been presented before the Parliament. The Cabinet has cleared a Public Procurement Bill.


    Highlights of PM's Independence Day Address, 2012 : Press Releases : Prime Minister of India - Dr. Manmohan Singh
     
  6. Full Text

    My dear countrymen, brothers, sisters and dear children,
    I greet you all on this anniversary of our Independence.

    The leaders of our freedom movement, under the stewardship of Mahatma Gandhi [ Images ], had dreamt of an independent and prosperous India. On this day in 1947, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru [ Images ] took the first step towards the realization of that dream by hoisting the Tricolour at the Red Fort [ Images ]. The journey we began on 15 August, 1947 is now 65 years old. We have achieved much in these 65 years.

    Today is certainly a day to celebrate the success of our democracy. However, on this occasion we should also introspect about what remains to be done. We would achieve independence in the true sense only when we are able to banish poverty, illiteracy, hunger and backwardness from our country. This would be possible only when we learn from our failures and build on our successes.

    Brothers and sisters,
    You are aware that these days the global economy is passing through a difficult phase. The pace of economic growth has come down in all countries of the world. Seen together, the European countries are estimated to grow at 0 percent this year. Our country has also been affected by these adverse external conditions. Also, there have been domestic developments, which are hindering our economic growth. Last year our GDP grew by 6.5 per cent. This year we hope to do a little better.

    We cannot do much about the conditions that prevail outside our country. But we must make every effort to resolve the problems inside our country so that our economic growth and the creation of employment opportunities in the country are again speeded up.
    While doing this, we must also control inflation. This would pose some difficulty because of a bad monsoon this year. However, we have taken many measures to deal with the situation. In districts where there has been a deficit of 50 per cent or more in the rainfall, diesel subsidy is being provided to farmers by the government. Seed subsidy has been enhanced. Funds available under the central scheme for fodder have been increased. Our effort is to ensure that people do not face difficulty due to shortage of seeds, fodder or water in any part of the country. It is good that we have a big stock of foodgrains because of the hard work of our farmer brothers and sisters, and availability of foodgrains is not a problem for us.

    Brothers and sisters,
    As far as creating an environment within the country for rapid economic growth is concerned, I believe that we are not being able to achieve this because of a lack of political consensus on many issues. Time has now come to view the issues which affect our development processes as matters of national security.

    If we do not increase the pace of the country's economic growth, take steps to encourage new investment in the economy, improve the management of government finances and work for the livelihood security of the common man and energy security of the country, then it most certainly affects our national security.

    I promise to you today that our government will work hard for India's rapid economic growth and for shielding the country from the effects of the global economic slowdown. I promise that we will work hard for creation of new employment opportunities for our young men and women living in villages and cities. We will make every possible effort to secure the livelihood of our poor brothers and sister, our workers and our farmers. We will leave no stone unturned to encourage investment in our country so that our entrepreneurs can make a substantial contribution to our economy.

    My dear countrymen,
    I believe that this period of difficulties will not last long. Even as we face these problems, we should be encouraged by the fact that we have achieved extraordinary successes in many areas in the last 8 years. We now need to replicate these successes in newer areas.

    Brothers and sisters,
    It has been our endeavour in the last 8 years to empower our citizens socially and economically so that they can contribute to the sacred task of nation building.
    Today, one out of every 5 households in the country has become eligible to benefit from the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Act through a job card. In only the last one year we have provided employment to more than 8 crore people under this scheme.

    When the UPA government came to power in 2004, we had promised that we would provide electricity to all villages. To fulfill this promise, we launched the Rajiv Gandhi [ Images ] Rural Electrification Scheme. More than 1 lakh new villages have been provided with electricity connections under this scheme and now almost all the villages in the country have been electrified. Our next target is to provide electricity to each and every household in our country in the next 5 years and to also improve the supply of electricity.

    My dear countrymen,
    No praise is high enough for our hard working farmers. They have produced a record output of crops successively in the last 2 years. Because of our government's efforts for development of agriculture and for protecting the interests of farmers, agriculture has grown at an average rate of 3.3 per cent in the 11th Plan which is substantially higher than the 2.4 per cent we achieved in the 10th Plan. In the last 8 years, we have doubled the support prices of crops. We are providing loans at low interest rates to lakhs of farmers.

    Our children are the biggest strength of our country. If our children are provided with good education and are healthy, then our future would be bright.

    This is the reason why we have paid special attention to the needs of children in our policies and programmes. The education of children has been made mandatory by law. In the year 2006-07, only 93 per cent of children in the age group 6-14 years were getting admission in schools. Today almost all children in this age group are being admitted to schools. More than 51,000 new schools have been opened in the country and about 7 lakh teachers appointed in them in just the last 2 years. Now we will focus on improving the quality of education. In the next few months we will put in place a system of continuous assessment of the benefit our children are getting from teaching. Participation of the community and parents would be ensured so that they can be satisfied with the quality of teaching.

    The mid-day-meal scheme provides nutritious meals in schools for about 12 crore children everyday. This is the biggest scheme of its kind in the world.

    In the last one and half years no new case of polio has come to light and now India does not figure in the list of countries affected by this disease.

    Malnutrition in children is a big challenge for us. We have taken steps in many dimensions to deal with this problem. In the last eight years, the number of mothers and children benefitting from the ICDS has doubled. The process of making the ICDS more effective is in its last stages and will be completed in the next 1 or 2 months.

    We had launched the National Rural Health Mission in 2005 so that health services can be extended to each village in the country. Today this mission is being implemented with the help of 10 lakh health personnel including 8.5 lakh Asha workers. After the success of the National Rural health Mission, we now want to expand the scope of health services in our towns also. The National Rural Health Mission will be converted into a National Health Mission which would cover all villages and towns in the country. We are also formulating a scheme for distribution of free medicines through government hospitals and health centres.

    Brothers and sisters,
    We want to create many new job opportunities for our youth in the coming years. To achieve this it is necessary that we train them in skills which our economy needs. It is our endeavour to put in place a system in which training facilities are available in many new skills. We also wish to provide short duration training courses of 6 weeks to 6 months for our young brothers and sisters. The National Skill Development Council has formulated a major scheme for skill development in which 8 crore people will be trained in the next five years. This is an ambitious scheme, which can be implemented only through a specialized agency of the central government. Therefore, we are considering the establishment of a National Skill Development Authority so that skill development programmes all over the country can be implemented in a coordinated manner. We would also need contribution from the private sector and non-governmental organisations in this work.

    Creation of new employment opportunities is possible only when we encourage industry and trade. For this we need to speedily improve our infrastructure.

    Recently we have taken new measures to accelerate infrastructure development. Ambitious targets have been fixed in roads, airports, railways, electricity generation and coal production. The government will take steps to increase investment for infrastructure development with the help of the private sector. To attract foreign capital, we will have to create confidence at the international level that there are no barriers to investment in India.

    Brothers and sisters,
    Just 10 years back only three out of every 10 households in our villages were benefitting from banking services. Today more than half of the rural households get the benefit of bank accounts. It will be our endeavour to ensure that all households benefit from bank accounts in the next 2 years.

    We want to create a system in which money from government schemes -- pension for old people, scholarship for students and wages for labourers -- can be credited directly into people's bank accounts. This would reduce inconvenience to the beneficiaries, make it easy for them to receive payment and increase transparency. For this work, we will take help from the Aadhar scheme under which about 20 crore people have been registered so far.

    To provide housing for our poor brothers and sisters residing in urban areas of our country we will soon launch the Rajiv Housing Loan Scheme. Under this scheme, people belonging to the economically weaker sections would be given relief on interest for housing loans of less than Rs. 5 lakh.

    This year we will present the Twelfth Five Year Plan for consideration of the National Development Council. The Plan would determine the future course of action on all important matters relating to the country's development. It would lay down measures for increasing our present rate of economic growth from 6.5 to 9 per cent in the last year of the plan. The plan would focus special attention on areas important from the point of view of reaching the fruits of development to each citizen of our country and specially to the weaker sections of our society. I have full confidence that the Centre and the states will act together to implement the Twelfth Plan in an effective manner.

    Brothers and sisters,
    The incidents of violence which occurred in Assam recently are very unfortunate. I know that these incidents have resulted in the disruption of the lives of a large number of people. We fully sympathise with those families which have been affected by the violence. We are doing everything possible to provide relief to them. I also promise to you that our government will make every effort to understand the reasons behind the violence and work hard with the state governments to ensure that such incidents are not repeated in any part of the country.

    We have achieved success in many areas of internal security. In Jammu and Kashmir [ Images ], people participated in large numbers in the Panchayat elections. There has been a reduction in violence in the northeastern states and we are engaged in dialogue with many groups there so that they can join the mainstream of development. We have initiated new schemes of development in areas affected by Naxal violence to ensure that the grievances of the people residing there, especially our brothers and sisters belonging to Scheduled Tribes, can be removed and their lot can be improved. However, we need to be constantly vigilant as far as internal security is concerned. Communal harmony has to be maintained at all costs. Naxalism is still a serious problem.

    The incidents which occurred in Pune in the beginning of this month point to the need for much more work to be done in the area of national security. We will continue to do this work with sincerity in the future also.

    My dear countrymen,
    I would like to congratulate our scientists and technologists who have enhanced our prestige by successfully testing the Agni V Missile and launching the RISAT- I Satellite in space this year. Recently the Cabinet has approved the Mars [ Images ] Orbiter Mission. Under this Mission, our spaceship will go near Mars and collect important scientific information. This spaceship to Mars will be a huge step for us in the area of science and technology.

    Brothers and sisters,
    We have seen a lot of discussion in the recent months about the role of our armed forces and their preparedness. I would like to emphasise here that our armed forces and paramilitary forces have defended the security of our country both during war and peace with valour and honour. Our soldiers have made the biggest of sacrifices, whenever needed. Today I would like to reassure our countrymen that our armed forces and paramilitary forces are prepared to face any challenge. The government will continue to work for modernising these forces and providing them with the necessary technology and equipment. Today, I would like to thank our security forces, who are guarding our frontiers bravely, from the bottom of my heart. We will continue to make efforts for their welfare.

    Our government has set up a committee to examine issues relating to pay and pension of armed forces personnel. This committee will also look into matters concerning pension of retired men and officers and family pension being paid to their families. We will take prompt action on the recommendations of the committee, once they are received.

    My dear countrymen,
    Our government has paid special attention to the welfare of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, minorities, women and other weaker sections. The special needs of our tribal and backward districts are being met through programmes such as the Integrated Action Plan, Backward Regions Grant Fund and Tribal Sub Plan. Through the Forest Rights Act, we have given proprietary rights to lakhs of our brothers and sisters belonging to Scheduled Tribes on land on which they have been living for generations. We are formulating a scheme to ensure that people belonging to Scheduled Tribes can get fair and remunerative prices for the forest produce they collect. The government wants to speedily convert the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Bill into a legislation. Through this law we want to provide funds for the benefit of our tribal brothers and sisters in the mining areas.

    We will make the 15 points programme for minorities more effective. The Multi-Sectoral Development Programme being implemented in districts with large minority populations will be expanded.

    We have enhanced the amount of post-matric scholarship available to children belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes and minorities. Our efforts to make these scholarship schemes more effective will continue. We are considering a new and effective law to put an end to the repulsive practice of manual scavenging and to provide opportunities to those engaged in this practice to begin their lives afresh.

    Brothers and sisters,
    Our commitment to make the work of the government and administration transparent and accountable stands. On the last Independence Day, I promised you that we would take many steps for this purpose. I am happy to state that during the last 1 year we have achieved good progress in this area. The Lok Sabha has cleared the Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill. We hope that all political parties will help us in passing this Bill in the Rajya Sabha. A number of other Bills have also been presented before the Parliament. The Cabinet has cleared a Public Procurement Bill. We will continue our efforts to bring more transparency and accountability in the work of public servants and to reduce corruption. But we will also take care that these measures do not result in a situation in which the morale of public functionaries taking decisions in public interest gets affected because of baseless allegations and unnecessary litigation.

    Brothers and sisters,
    In my first message to the country after assuming the office of prime minister I had appealed to you to contribute to the sacred work of nation building. I am very happy that today more of our citizens than ever before, and specially the youth, are taking interest in issues related to the progress of our society and country. Our government believes that the difficult problems which India faces can be resolved only with the cooperation of the common man. It will be our endeavour that in the coming time, still more people help us in tasks like removal of poverty, illiteracy and inequality.

    I believe that no power in the world can stop our country from achieving new heights of progress and development. What is needed is that we work together as one people for the success of our country. Let us once more resolve that we will continue to work for a progressive, modern and prosperous India.

    Dear children join me in saying
    Jai Hind,
    Jai Hind,
    Jai Hind.

    READ: PM's address to nation on 66th Independence Day - Rediff.com India News
     

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