PM swears by fiscal reforms

PM swears by fiscal reforms

PM swears by fiscal reforms

Protests against reforms seemingly had little impact on the Centre as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday indicated that liberalisation would stay on course.

Responding to questions after the swearing-in ceremony of Altamas Kabir as the Chief Justice of India at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Singh said: “We will do what is good for the country. Reforms are not one-off processes.”

The prime minister asserted that he would take the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) allies on board and expressed willingness to discuss the reforms related issues with them.
Asked if the reform measures could hurt poll prospects of the UPA parties, he remarked, “We are far away from elections.”

The decisions on FDI in multi-brand retail, diesel price hike and cap on subsidised LPG cylinders have rattled the Opposition and UPA allies like the DMK. The government has so far refused to give in to the nationwide protests.

Singh also brushed aside Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks that the government’s decision on FDI was aimed at “pleasing the US.”

“What has the US got to do with this? We are not a country to be dictated by others,” Singh said. The prime minister also claimed not to harbour any bitter feelings about West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who withdrew support to the UPA government in protest against FDI in retail.

He refused to talk on the Supreme Court’s opinion on natural resources, in the backdrop of the presidential reference on 2G verdict. “We honour the judgment,” Singh added.