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PM hits out at developed nations over carbon emissions

News4u-News Desk-  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday hit out at industrialised countries over the issue of making available additional finance and technology to help developing world reduce carbon emissions, saying there is “little evidence” of support for them.

Dr Singh also made a strong plea for finding new pathways for sustainable living since the current consumption patterns in the industrialized world are unsustainable.

The prime minister enunciated India’s stand in his address during the plenary session of the Rio+20 summit, which is officially known as the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.

“Many countries could do more if additional finance and technology were available. Unfortunately, there is little evidence of support from the industrialised countries in these areas(reducing emissions intensity). The ongoing economic crisis has made matters worse,” he said.

Describing economic development, social inclusion and environmental sustainability as all equally critical as components of sustainable development, Prime Minister Singh said that the task before the world community is to give practical shape and content to this architecture in a manner that allows each country to develop according to its own national priorities and circumstances.

Observing that the Rio+20 Summit was meeting at a time of serious economic crisis and political ferment in the world, the prime minister said it is timely because it focuses the world community’s minds on “the future we want” and how to realise it.

“Difficult though it may seem, we have to summon the imagination to balance the costs that we will incur in the present with the benefits that will accrue to future generations,” said Prime Minister Singh, who was among the 125 world leaders who participated in the deliberations.

The Prime Minister made it clear to the summit that for developing countries, inclusive growth and a rapid increase in per capita income levels are development imperatives.

“Those living at the subsistence level cannot bear the costs of adjustment and their livelihood considerations are important in determining how scarce natural resources such as land, water and forests are used. The severe deterioration of land and water resources is already affecting the well- being of millions of people living on the edges of subsistence, particularly women and children,” he said.

Noting that Sustainable development also mandated the efficient use of available natural resources, Singh said the world community has to be much more frugal in the way it uses natural resources.

“A key area of focus is energy. We have to promote universal access to energy, while at the same time, promoting energy efficiency and a shift to cleaner energy sources by addressing various technological, financial and institutional constraints. In India, we are implementing an ambitious National Solar Mission as a critical option for our energy security,” he said.

Observing that environmental sustainability is the third leg of the sustainable development architecture, the prime minister said that economic activity invariably results in negative spinoffs, either by way of local pollution, or by way of global effects such as Greenhouse Gas emissions.

“We need to tackle both,” said the prime minister.

Dr Singh also spoke about issues relating to local pollution and how it can be regulated and how such regulation may impose costs on various economic actors.

“To ensure equity, there may be a case for targeted assistance to small producers to meet part of these costs and this should be built into policy,” he said.

At the global level, Dr Singh said that the approach to the problem should be guided by equitable burden sharing.

“It is for this reason that the first Rio Summit enshrined the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. I am happy we have reaffirmed this principle as well as the principle of equity during this Summit,” he said.

This does not, however, mean that countries should not take proactive actions to promote sustainable development, Dr Singh said.

“In India, our efforts over the last two decades have yielded positive results. Over the period 1994-2007, our emissions-GDP intensity, excluding agriculture, has declined nearly 25 per cent. Looking ahead, we have set a target to further reduce the emissions intensity of GDP by 20-25 per cent between 2005 and 2020, the prime minster said.

Stating that one of the key challenges that demanded urgent global action is the worrying depletion of bio-diversity across our planet, Dr Singh said the Eleventh Conference of Parties on Convention on Biodiversity is being hosted by India in October this year at Hyderabad.

“We look forward to working with the global community to make it a success,” he said.

“The future we want should be a future in which there is ecological and economic space for sustainable growth for all. Let us work together to attain the future that we all desire..,” Dr Singh added.


 

Manmohan Singh

Manmohan Singh

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PM sets tone for G-20 meet: World economy is in deep trouble

News4u-News Desk-  Setting the tone for the crucial G-20 Summit, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said the world economy is in “deep trouble” and hoped the grouping of developed and developing countries will come up with constructive proposals to pull the world out of this crisis.

With anxiety over the global economic woes being reflected at the seventh summit of the four-year-old grouping, Singh’s suggestion that the G-20 should focus on the need on investment in infrastructure as a means of stimulating global growth was significantly well received at the deliberations.

“The world is in deep trouble, I hope the G-20 will come up with constructive proposals to get the world out of this crisis,” Singh told newsmen ahead of the summit at this Mexican coastal resort town, meeting against the backdrop of a faltering global economy and the burgeoning Eurozone crisis.

The economist-politician is set to take a leading role at the two-day summit of the G-20 coming up with solutions to fix the financial crisis in the 17-nation Eurozone.

The G-20 accounts for 80 per cent of the global GDP.

US President Barack Obama last week in a telephone conversation with the Prime Minister said he is eagerly looking forward to meeting him at the G-20 summit and work for the successful completion of the parleys and evolve a coordinated response for the grouping to find swift solutions to the Eurozone crisis.

Singh has attended all the previous six summits of the G-20 which was launched in Washington in 2008.

A possibility of a pull aside meeting between Obama and Singh is not being ruled out by Indian officials.

Global economic woes triggered by the Eurozone crisis is threatening to affect several countries including India which has already made it clear that the European nations will have to come up with swift solutions before India is trapped in the contagion effect.

Noting that G-20 is a premier group dealing with international economic cooperation, Singh and other world leaders hope to evolve a coordinated response for the grouping to deal with the Eurozone crisis and hope for positive signals from European leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande.

Ahead of the Summit, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said the Prime Minister’s suggestion that giving priority to investment in infrastructure as a means of stimulating global growth was finding “resonance” at the G-20 meetings.

Addressing issues relating to Indian economy, Ahluwalia said economic woes before the country have not gone out of hand in the wake of the slip in the GDP growth-the lowest in nearly 9 years but there could be trouble if the Eurozone crisis is not quickly contained and financial stability in Europe restored.

Ahluwalia, who is the designated sherpa for India assisting Prime Minister Singh, said India will be “lucky” if it can achieve around seven per cent growth rate this fiscal.

The country’s economic growth rate slipped to 5.3 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2011-12, lowest in nearly 9 years due to poor performance of the manufacturing and farm sectors.

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PM arrives in Frankfurt en route to G-20 Summit in Mexico

News4u-News Desk-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Sunday returned from the G20 Summit at Pittsburgh with some major gains at hand that are making the rich nations now look at the developing world in a new light.
It was evident from the final communique issued by the G20 leaders at the end of the Summit on Friday that it reflected a lot of what Manmohan Singh had been pointing out prior to the summit - and all this with a sense of ‘confidence’ as he himself said.
Manmohan Singh said India had a lot at stake and also a lot to contribute to the management of the world economy and the outcome was for all to see, as the G20 has now emerged the premier forum on global financial and regulatory matters, giving the G8 grouping of rich nations a virtual burial.
‘This is an important development broadening the global governance structure,’ the prime minister told the accompanying media delegation, reflecting on the realisation among the other G20 leaders of today’s economic realities.
‘With the rise of Asia, with growth of India, China and Brazil, the economic decision-making has to take into account the views of these countries if it is to have an optimum impact,’ the prime minister said.
The gains for India, and the developing world, did not end there. India said it was premature for countries to end their fiscal stimulus packages as it would hurt the developing countries the most - and that was what the G20 decided.
‘We pledge today to sustain our strong policy response until a durable recovery is secured. We will act to ensure that when growth returns jobs do too. We will avoid any premature withdrawal of stimulus,’ said the G20 final communique.
In fact, the respect for the Indian premier - who was to turn 77 Saturday - was also visible when he was seated next to his host and US President Barack Obama at the high table.
In equal measure, officials in the US State Department highlighted that Manmohan Singh’s visit to Washington will be the first state visit to the US for the new Obama administration.
In some of the other aspects of global financial structure, too, India’s stand was reflected in equal measure - notably greater voting rights for developing countries in the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
In fact, the developing countries that are a part of the G20, mainly India, China and Brazil, also managed to secure what was rather unthinkable even a decade ago - a peer review of the economic policy framework of rich countries.
‘The policies of major developed countries, within the framework of review by the G20 will give us an opportunity to pick holes in the functioning of their economies,’ said the prime minister.
The respect for the views of developing countries, which was earned by them and also forced on the rich nations, also saw their point of view being taken on a host of issues - climate change, fossil fuel subsidies and protectionism.
It is expected that the fruits of the gains made by developing countries during the Pittsburgh G20 Summit will start ripening soon, with a stock-taking expected when its leaders reconvene in Canada in June next year and then in South Korea in November.

News4u-News Desk-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in Frankfurt on Sunday en route to attend the G-20 Summit in Mexico, which is taking place in the shadow of the economic crisis in the Eurozone.

Ahead of the visit, Singh had voiced concern that continuing problems in the eurozone will further dampen global markets and adversely impact India’s own economic growth.

Singh also said that the need to revive global growth should be an issue of immediate concern which must be addressed by world leaders.

Singh will visit Mexico and Brazil to attend the seventh summit of the Group of 20 developed and developing countries(G-20) in the Mexican resort town of Los Cabos on June 18 and the Rio+20 Summit in Rio De Janeiro.

Observing that G-20 Leaders will meet once again in the shadow of the economic crisis in the Eurozone and a “faltering” global economy, Singh said the situation in Europe is of particular concern as it accounts for a significant share of the global economy and is also India’s major trade and investment partner.

“Continuing problems there will further dampen global markets and adversely impact our own economic growth. It is our hope that European leaders will take resolute action to resolve the financial problems facing them,” he said.

Singh emphasised on the need to revive global growth.

“It is imperative that the G-20 countries work in coordination to implement policies that promote sustained growth. India has been pursuing this objective in its capacity as the Co-Chair of the Working Group on the ‘Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth’. “

“I will stress the need to ensure primacy of the development dimension in G-20 deliberations and the need to focus on investment in infrastructure as a means of stimulating global growth,” he said.

On the Earth Summit in Rio, the Prime Minister said the cardinal principles of Rio 1992 must not be diluted, particularly the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities as well as equity.

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Obama calls Singh, discusses bilateral ties, Eurozone crisis

News4u-News Desk-United States President Barack Obama spoke to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over phone and discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest, including the raging Eurozone crisis.

The two leaders agreed to work to strengthen the global economy to cope with shocks from the Eurozone, the White House said in a statement on 14 June.

“The leaders agreed on the importance of steps to strengthen the resilience of the global economy in response to persistent risks in the Eurozone and elsewhere and on focusing on measures to boost global growth,” the statement said.

The President and the Prime Minster also agreed to work closely together towards a successful two-day G-20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, from June 18.

The summit is likely to be dominated by the crisis in Europe, which - combined with slowing growth in China and India - poses a threat to the world economy.

The ongoing European sovereign debt crisis has made it difficult or impossible for some countries like Greece and Spain in the euro area to re-finance their government debt without the assistance of third parties.

The call between the two leaders came after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held the third US-India Strategic Dialogue with visiting External Affairs Minister S M Krishna.

On 11 June, the US exempted Indian and six other countries from tough new sanctions after they cut back on oil imports from Iran.

US President Barack Obama calls PM Manmohan Singh

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Cong no to sparing PM for Prez post, rebuffs SP-TMC

News4u - News Desk :  In a rebuff to SP and TMC, Congress on Thursday ruled out sparing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the Presidential race as it rejected the three names proposed by the two allies, sending signals that it was not in a mood to bow before them.

“We cannot afford to spare Dr Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister. The other two names (A P J Abdul Kalam and Somnath Chatterjee) are not acceptable,” Congress General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi told reporters.

“During UPA-II (election of leader), we have already said he (Singh) will remain the Prime Minister till 2014. Congress does not take such a step (of changing its leader) in between,” he said.

His forthright assertion came after Congress President Sonia Gandhi held parleys with senior party leaders Pranab Mukherjee, A K Antony and P Chidambaram at her residence in the wake of TMC and SP stunning the party by proposing the names of Manmohan Singh, Kalam and Chatterjee as a counter to candidature of Mukherjee and Vice President Hamid Ansari.

Virtually disapproving of Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee’s action of disclosing the names of Mukherjee and Ansari as first and second choices of Congress, Dwivedi said the process of consultation was still on and Gandhi had not finalised any name.

Gandhi is in the process of consulting even single-member parties and in the course of it two names have come up.

“If Congress had decided on the name, two names would not have come up,” he said.

“There is a dignity to the process. When such talks are held, names are not discussed outside,” the Congress leader said, apparently referring to Banerjee disclosing the names to the media immediately after meeting Gandhi at her residence on Wednesday.

The Congress Core Group, headed by Gandhi and including the Prime Minister and senior Cabinet ministers, will meet Thursday evening to devise further strategy on the President’s election.

Earlier in the day, Mukherjee drove to the 10, Janpath residence of Gandhi and was with her for about 30 minutes.

Senior Congress leaders A K Antony and P Chidambaram also met Sonia Gandhi.

Gandhi also held discussions with other UPA allies like DMK and NCP.

DMK Parliamentary leader T R Baalu met her and said Gandhi will be announcing the name of the UPA Presidential candidate anytime later this week.

“Keeping in view the political stature and seniority in public life, my leader Karunanidhi was consulted by Madam last month through Antony. My leader had suggested a name. The name has been communicated by Antony to Madam. Madam at any point of time, will be announcing the decision,” Baalu told reporters.

He said the name of the person cannot be divulged as of now and parried questions on whether the candidate is among the five persons whose names have been made public.

“Madam will announce it shortly. Not today… At any point within this week,” he said.

When asked if DMK was fine with Mukherjee’s candidature, he said, “it is between the two higher ups. My leader has communicated the matter long back. We stand by it.”

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PM initiates steps to boost economy

News4u-News Desk-In a bid to assuage investors and to stay course in difficult times, PM Manmohan Singh stepped in to form a ministers’ panel to thrash out problems in the coal sector and convened a meeting on Wed to review big-ticket infrastructure projects.

On its part, the Reserve Bank sent assuring signals to the market by indicating that it may further cut interest rates later this month.

While the Prime Minister said the country should stay course in difficult times, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee listed positives in the falling crude oil prices and expectations of a normal monsoon.

Addressing the tax officials on Monday, Mukherjee, however, said there is no headroom for fiscal support.

With projects worth Rs 1.46 lakh crore pending, the Prime Minister will review with senior Cabinet colleagues the status of the infrastructure sector.

Projects worth Rs 1.46 lakh crore are pending because of absence of regulatory clearances. These are in the sectors of power, steel, highways and cement.

The meeting assumes significance as it comes against the backdrop of economic growth falling to nine-year low of 6.5 percent in 2011-12 and contraction of industrial output in the March quarter.

Singh has also approved formation of a nine-member ministerial panel to sort out differences over the draft Bill for setting up a regulatory authority for the coal sector.

“The Prime Minister has approved the formation of a Group of Ministers (GoM) (to look into the draft Bill). The government has notified the formation of GoM today,” a top Coal Ministry official said.

Meanwhile, citing uncertainties in global economy and rising oil prices due to tensions with Iran, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said India is facing difficult times but exuded confidence that the testing period would be overcome.

Addressing the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting in New Delhi, he said that despite the international slowdown, India’s growth was 7 per cent in 2011-12 which was “one of the highest in the world”.

Referring to the challenges facing the government, he said there were uncertainties in global economy and commodity prices like that of oil were rising due to “uncertain prospects” in West Asia.

“These are difficult times for our country and for our economy, caused to a very large extent by circumstances over which we have little or no control,” Dr Singh said.

“These are times when our will and determination are being tested,” he said, adding “we must stay the course” and “have faith in ourselves”.

He expressed confidence that “we will emerge stronger from these testing times”.

His statement assumes significance as it comes against the backdrop of the GDP growth falling to 5.3 per cent in the last quarter of the 2011-12, the lowest in nine years.

Dr Singh said the UPA government had made every effort to fulfill the promises made to the ‘aam aadmi’ (common man) by delivering high growth rate, implementing programmes for social and economic inclusion on “a scale never seen before” and taking “unprecedented” steps to empower the citizens.

Listing out various achievements of the government, he said poverty is declining faster than it did before UPA took charge, real wages are increasing, agricultural growth has accelerated and economic security has been ensured.

rime Minister Manmohan Singh

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

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PM flags concerns over ‘repeated disruptions’

News4u-News Desk - Flagging concerns over “repeated disruptions” and “unwillingness” for discussions, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday appealed to members to restore the dignity and decorum in the Rajya Sabha.

Initiating the debate in the House on the completion of 60 years of the first sitting of Parliament, at the same time he said the history of the functioning of the House over the last 60 years proves that the trust reposed in it by the founding fathers of the Constitution has been substantially fulfilled.

“That is not to say that we should not reflect with concern on the repeated disruptions of proceedings and a regrettable unwillingness, on occasion, to engage in informed discussion,” the Prime Minister noted.

He hoped that on this momentous occasion of the completion of 60 years of the functioning of the House members “can write a new chapter and restore to it the sense of dignity and decorum that is expected of a House of Elders.”

Expressing disagreement with the general impression that Rajya Sabha cannot make or unmake governments and, therefore, it is a superfluous body, the Prime said there are functions, which a revising chamber can fulfil fruitfully.

Quoting philosopher-statesman S Radhakrishnan, he said, “Parliament is not only a legislative but a deliberative body. So far as its deliberative functions are concerned, it will be open to us to make very valuable contributions, and it will depend on our work whether we justify this two-chamber system, which is now an integral part of our Constitution.”

“So it is a test to which we are submitted. We are for the first time starting under the Parliamentary system, with a second chamber in the Centre and we should try to do everything in our power to justify to the public of this country that a second chamber is essential to prevent hasty legislation,” Dr. Singh said.

The Prime Minister said, “There is no doubt that one reason for India’s growing global stature in the world is the country’s unflinching commitment to pursuing a democratic path to achieving our social and economic salvation.”

“It is therefore incumbent upon all of us to respect the great institutions of our democracy and respect the spirit of what is expected from the elected representatives,” he said.

The Prime Minister also chose the occasion to emphasise the increasing participation of people in the institutions of Parliamentary democracy.

“The resilience of our pluralistic democracy is the proudest achievement of the Indian State and Indian people. The people of India have repeatedly and regularly reposed their faith in the institutions of parliamentary democracy.”

“In recent years, they are making their voice heard more forcefully by voting in increasing numbers in Parliamentary, State Assembly and Panchayat elections,” he said.

Dr. Singh, who is the Leader of the Upper House, said Rajya Sabha is an institution whose deliberations over the years have enriched our parliamentary democracy, nurtured the strength of the nation’s federal polity and served as a bulwark against the transient impulses of the moment.

“As a House of Elders we are called upon to reflect and guide, with patience and sobriety, on the issues and challenges our nation faces. This House brings balance and sincerity to the deliberations of the day and the legislation at hand.”

“Through thoughtful interventions enriched by experience, intellect and a spirit of national bonding, members of the Upper House have contributed to forging a national consensus on critical issues enabling us to face the challenges of the present and the future as a united nation,”the Prime Minister said.

Dr. Singh said, “Rajya Sabha has a unique position in our Republic as it it is both a Council of States and a House of Elders.”

“As a Council of States it provides a unique platform for every region of our vast and diverse country to have its voice heard at the highest forum of our democracy,” he said recalling that many great leaders served Rajya Sabha with great distinction.

He recalled that Rajya Sabha considered and passed historic legislations institutionalising land reforms through the first constitutional amendment, abolishing privy purses and nationalising banks.

“More recently, legislations passed by this House have expanded the entitlements of our people to education, information and minimum employment.”

“I have been a proud member of this august House for the past 21 years. I have personally witnessed and participated in some very enriching and lively debates in this august House. This House has always been a repository of wisdom that has proved invaluable to the functioning of our parliamentary democracy,” the Prime Minister said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

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NCTC will supplement counter-terror capabilities of states:PM

News4u-News Desk-  Making a strong pitch for formation of an anti-terror hub, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said the establishment of NCTC is not a State versus Centre issue but will work as a vehicle of country’s combined efforts to curb terrorism.

Stressing that NCTC will supplement the counter-terrorism capabilities of the states and not supplant them, Singh asked the state governments to work with the Centre in dealing with terrorism.

“Terrorism is today one of the most potent threats to our national security. There can be no disagreement on putting an effective counter terrorism regime with efficient mechanism and response systems both at the national level and at the state level,” the Prime Minister said in his inaugural speech at a conference of Chief Ministers called to discuss NCTC.

The meeting was called specially after 12 chief ministers opposed formation of NCTC.

Dr Singh said, “Establishment of NCTC is not a state versus Centre issue and the primary purpose behind setting up the NCTC is to coordinate counter-terrorism efforts throughout the country as the Intelligence Bureau has been doing so far.”

“The NCTC should be a vehicle of our combined efforts to reach the shared goal of curbing terrorism an eradicating militancy,” he said.

Singh said the antecedents of the NCTC derived from the Group of Ministers and the Administrative Reforms Commission, commencing from the lessons learnt in Kargil.

“It is our belief that the NCTC, in its designs and its operation aspects, will supplement the counter-terrorism capabilities of the states and not supplant them,” he said.

He also drew attention of Chief Ministers towards the Standard operating Procedures circulated by Union Home Ministry and said the draft reflects the details provisions for Centre-State coordination in both the organisational set up of NCTC and in its proposed powers and functions.

“But for the NCTC to function smoothly and effectively, it is important that we have a fairly broad consensus on its powers and functions. We would like the state governments to be with us in this initiative, which we believe would strengthen our counter-terrorism efforts,” Singh said, adding the Centre was open to suggestions of Chief Ministers.

Advocating formation of NCTC at the meeting, the Prime Minister said the NCTC mechanism will give each state agency an ability to see the bigger picture of terrorist threats and thus would enhance their counter terrorism capability and access to resources.

Allaying fears of some of the Chief Ministers about disturbing the federal structure, the Prime Minister stressed that the government’s intention was in no way to affect the distribution of powers between the states and the Union that the Constitution provides.

He said terrorism was today one of the most potent threats to the national security.

“There can be no disagreement on putting in place an effective counter terrorism regime with efficient mechanisms and response systems both at the national level and at the State level.”

“Neither the states nor the Centre can fulfill this task alone. The closest cooperation and coordination is, therefore, necessary to meet the threats that emanate from within and outside our borders,” the Prime Minister said.

He said it was the “responsibility of the Centre to give form and shape to a cohesive national approach and strategy based on information gathered globally and from all the states of our Union.

“On their part, the states should use their expertise, knowledge and machinery to secure their own territories and work in coordination with the Centre and other States,” the Prime Minister said.

Singh said while since Mumbai attacks in November 2008, there has been much close coordination between state and central agencies which resulted in noteworthy successes, however, much remains to be done.

“On the whole there is broad agreement on the strategy and measures that we must adopt to counter terrorism in all its multifarious dimensions in India, including cross-border terrorism, Left Wing Extremism, terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, insurgency in the North-East and religion based terrorism,” he said.

The Prime Minister said the Government remains committed to working with the state governments and providing them all possible help in combating terrorism.

He expressed hope that today’s deliberations would help putting in place more effective counter-terrorism architecture in the country.

“As all of you know, we had initially intended to discuss this issue in the Chief Ministers’ Conference on Internal Security held on April 16, 2012.

“But in view of the importance of the matter and concerns raised by some Chief Ministers, we have decided to have a meeting exclusively on this important subject,” he said, hoping that the “discussions will take place in a spirit of harmony and cooperation, which are essential in tackling the challenge of terrorism.”

 

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PM advises civil servants to take fair and objective decisions

News4u - News Desk-  Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has advised Civil Servants to take fair and objective decisions.

Inaugurating the Civil Services Day in the national capital on Saturday, Dr. Singh said that their decisions should be designed to serve the best interests of the country.

Dr. Singh added that substantial progress has been made towards strengthening the legislative framework and revamping administrative practices to fight corruption better.


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Karat revives Third Front idea

News4u-News Desk-Citing Samajwadi Party’s electoral victory in Uttar Pradesh, CPI(M) on Saturday revived the idea of a Third Front, pitching for a unity of Left and democratic forces to give the people another alternative to Congress and BJP.

CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat said people want alternative to Congress and BJP as both of them were defeated in UP elections.

“We call for strengthening of CPI(M) and building a unity of Left and democratic forces in the country. It is necessary to have a Left and democratic alternative for the people and we should provide an alternative to the people to Congress and BJP”, Karat told a party rally in Jammu.

“BJP and Congress government are corrupt. People have understood that. Congress has been defeated so has been BJP and Samajwadi Party has got a tremendous mandate in UP”, he said adding “CPI(M) wants to strengthen non-Congress, non-BJP forces in the country”.

“In the present situation in the country, people are suffering from continuous price rise, massive corruption and shrinking job opportunities”, he charged.

The UPA-II has for last three years pursued policies which are harmful for the people of the country, Karat alleged adding in the recent Union Budget proposals, there is a big cut in subsidies for fuel and fertilizers.

“This is going to lead to further price rise. Farmers are already facing difficulties to buy fertilizers in view of steep prices. More and more workers are hired on contract basis. Even government departments are hiring contractual employees, thus, they are deprived of all the benefits”, he said.

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