UPA priority: Rice at Rs 3

Social, economic measures are vision of new govt, says President

UPA priority: Rice at Rs 3

The legislation will also be used to bring about “broader systemic reform” in the public distribution system, said President Pratibha Patil while delivering her address to the joint session of Parliament here on Thursday.

Unfolding its development roadmap for the next five years, the Union government sought to consolidate the existing development plans while starting new flagship initiatives “for food security and skill development”.

“The yearning of our people for inclusiveness — economic, social and cultural — and the rejection of the forces of divisiveness and intolerance that my government spoke in 2004 continues as both its inspiring vision and its unfinished business,” the President said.
The mandatory presidential address after each general election projects policy visions of the new government at the Centre. 

The government listed 25 programmes, including infrastructure development, roadmap for listing of PSUs without diluting government equity below 51 per cent , simplification of tax administration, pursuing black money abroad, develop the “brain gain” policy to attract talent from all over the world to 14 proposed universities and “reshaping of relationship with Pakistan” as areas where it would take steps in the next 100 days.

In an indirect reference to the release of Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, head of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) by a Pakistani court on Wednesday, the President said the government “will seek to reshape relationship with Pakistan depending on the sincerity of Pakistan’s actions to confront groups who launch terrorist attacks against India from its territory”.
She said “a policy of zero tolerance” towards terrorism, “from whatever sources it originates”, would be pursued.

Besides taking stern measures to handle insurgency and left-wing extremism, the President said the Multi-Agency Centre will be strengthened to ensure effective intelligence sharing and processing and subsidiary centres will be activated in all states.
A national counter-terrorism centre will be established to take pro-active anti-terrorism measures.

Patil said special forces and quick response teams will be raised and deployed  in vulnerable areas.

On developments in Sri Lanka, Patil said the government would support initiatives which could lead to a permanent political solution to the conflict and ensure that all communities, “especially Tamils, feel secure and enjoy equal rights so that they can lead a life of dignity and self-respect”.

The President’s observations on Sri Lankan evoked loud thumping of desks by members present in the Central Hall.

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