On I-Day, PM pushes for growth, links it to security
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh used his Independence Day speech on Wednesday to push for economic growth, cautioning that it was linked to national security. He also blamed "a lack of political consensus" for growth lagging behind.
"If we do not increase the pace of economic growth, take steps to encourage new investment, improve the management of government finances and work for the livelihood security of the common man and energy security, then it most certainly affects our national security," Singh said.
However, the PM assured, the armed forces were equipped to meet all eventualities, playing down fears about preparedness following a leaked letter written by former army chief V K Singh. "Our armed forces and paramilitary forces have defended our country... with valour and honour," he said.
While dwelling heavily on the economic situation, the PM had little new to offer. He admitted that domestic developments too were hindering growth but expressed hope that GDP growth would be "a little better" than last year's 6.5 per cent. The Twelfth Five Year Plan, he said, will seek measures to increase the rate to 9 per cent.
Underlining the need to create jobs, the PM said a scheme for skill development would train eight crore people.
The PM also spoke about the violence in Assam, calling it "unfortunate". "Our government will make every effort to understand the reasons."
On internal security, Singh said Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast had seen a fall in violence but Naxalism was an issue. "The incidents which occurred in Pune point to the need for much more work in the area of national security," he said.
Singh also announced the Cabinet's approval to the Mars Orbiter Mission, calling it "a huge step" in science and technology.
While urging all parties to help pass the Lokpal Bill, the PM said that in bringing transparency, effort must be made to not affect the "morale of public functionaries".
- Fixing probe now reaches Bollywood, son of Dara Singh held
- BCCI cashes Pune guarantee, Sahara walks out of IPL
- Sreesanth spent Rs 1.95 lakh on clothes, bought friend BlackBerry and paid in cash: Police
- Delhi firm with MoD as client is linked to Pak cyberattacks
- After Infosys, iGATE sacks Phaneesh Murthy for sexual misconduct
- 2 weeks after harassment, Haryana schoolgirls return, cops in tow