Following are the highlights ofPrime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Independence Day speech:
– Prime Minister expresses anguish over the loss of Navy’s frontline submarine INS Sindhurakshak in an accident in which 18 soldiers are feared to have lost their lives.
– For relations with Pakistan to improve,it is essential that they prevent the use of their territory and territory under their control for any anti-India activity.
– India will take all possible steps to prevent repeat of incidents like dastardly attack on jawans on LoC with Pakistan.
– There can be no place for narrow and sectarian ideologies in a modern,progressive and secular country. Such ideologies divide society and weaken our democracy,says Prime Minister.
– Have not been successful in preventing Naxal attacks that happen from time to time. The Naxal violence in Chhattisgarh on 25 May was a frontal attack on democracy.
– Assures people of Uttarakhand that the whole country stands with them in this moment of crisis.
– Government working with all the resources at its command to rehabilitate those affected by devastation in Uttarakhand.
– Hopes Food Security Bill will be passed by Parliament soon.
– After the enactment of the Food Security legislation,its implementation will be one of the priorities of the government. Computerisation of the Public Distribution System will be speeded up.
– Mid-day meal tragedy that happened in Bihar should not
be repeated anywhere in the country.
– The Mid-day Meal scheme will be reformed. The meals being provided to our children should not only be nutritious but also be cooked hygienically.
– Measuring poverty is a difficult task. There are diverse views about what constitutes poverty. But whatever definition we may adopt,it cannot be denied that the pace of reduction in poverty has increased after 2004,he says.
– The phase of slow economic growth will not last long. In the last nine years,the economy has grown at an annual average rate of 7.9 percent. This pace of development is the highest in any decade so far.
– Govt is working hard to reverse slowdown in economy.
– Good progress have been made in the last nine years in the infrastructure sector,covering areas such as Roads,Railways,Power,Civil Aviation,Ports and Telecommunications.
– About 2 lakh km of new roads have been constructed for connecting villages under the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana. More than 37,000 km of new Highways have been built. More than 40 airports have been built or upgraded.
– Steps taken to speed up the process of government clearances for industry,build an environment more conducive to trade and industry and increase investment in the economy.
– Inadequate supply of coal had become a major problem affecting our efforts for increasing electricity generation. This has been resolved to a large extent.
– Government will start work on a number of new infrastructure projects in the coming months. This includes 2 new ports,8 new airports,new industrial corridors and Rail projects.
– New scheme to be launched under which those who have successfully acquired new skills will be given a grant of about Rs 10,000. The scheme will benefit about 10 lakh young men and women in the next 12 months.
– Have journeyed a long distance in the last decade but much remains to be done; process of change that we initiated will be continued.