March 15, 2022 3:50:29 am
The National Development Council gave its stamp of approval to the prime minister’s 20-point programme. According to Planning Minister S B Chavan, the approval was given with one state, Tripura, expressing reservation. West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti-Basu had also expressed reservations with certain aspects of the programme but was not present when the resolution was adopted. The CMs of the other two Opposition states — Jammu Kashmir and Tamil Nadu — stayed away from the meeting, sending instead their finance ministers. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi admitted that progress on meeting the targets of the Sixth Plan had suffered but blamed the state governments.
A decision on which among the foreign car manufacturers should be invited to collaborate with the Maruti Car Company, now under the public sector, will be taken in the next two months. The close race to get into Maruti’s favour is between Japanese and British firms, French Renault and German Volkswagen. Indications are that British Leyland may bag the prize. The notable point in the British company’s favour is that most of Leyland’s cars have passed the test on India’s rugged and bumpy roads.
Pak wants talks
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Pakistan Foreign Minister Abdus Sattar asked India to continue the talks for a no-war pact because the exchanges between the two sides at the Geneva conference were not grave enough. Sattar told reporters that Pakistan’s invitation to Indian Foreign Secretary R D Sattar was still “outstanding”. He said that there was nothing wrong in Pakistan raising the Kashmir issue at international fora.
West Bengal Chief Jyoti Basu said that Congress Party members in the state were talking of the prospects of President’s rule. This reflected the thinking of the ruling party at the Centre.
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