PM to give message to the nation Saturday
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will deliver a message to the nation
later Saturday, a prime minister's aide said. He will however not
address the nation. His message will be released in the form of a
statement from his office on New Year's »
New Delhi: Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday said his government took some
"transformational initiatives" to empower people and fight
corruption and listed five key personal challenges to address as
India enters the new year.
"These initiatives will take time to have their full effect and we
must therefore be patient," the prime minister said in a long
message, listing among others the initiatives taken on judicial
accountability, citizens' charter, lokpal and lokayukta.
"But I do believe they are transformational initiatives, which
will be recognised as such a few years down the line," the prime
minister added in the message, which wished citizens a peaceful,
productive and secure New Year.
Giving no sign that he was about to throw in the towel after
months of political turbulence that put question marks on
governance and his leadership, the prime minister said: "I want to
assure you all on this New Year's day that I personally will work
to provide an honest and more efficient government, a more
productive, competitive and robust economy and a more equitable
and just social and political order."
According to Manmohan Singh, who is mid-way into his second terms
as prime minister of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)
government, there were five challenges he would like to address in
He listed them as: livelihood security, covering education, food,
health and employment, economic security, energy security,
ecological security and national security. "These will be on top
of our policy agenda next year," he said,
"In addressing each of these five challenges we must work together
as a nation, while working with like-minded nations around the
world. I assure you that I will work with all the energy at my
command to ensure that we meet each of these challenges and
overcome them," the 79-year-old leader said.
The prime minister, while expressing disappointment over the
government's inability to get the lokpal and lokayukta bill passed
in the Rajya Sabha, said he was committed to giving an effective
and strong law to create these two institutions.
According to him, today's youth, especially those born after the
mid 1980s, may have no memory of the kind of corruption that
existed prior to 1991 where it required bribes to get a telephone
or a rail ticket, or buy a scooter.
"But even as the creative energies of our people have been
unleashed and old forms of corruption have vanished, new forms of
corruption have emerged which need to be tackled," he said.
"Elimination of corruption is critical to support genuine
entrepreneurship. It is also the demand of the ordinary citizen
who encounters corruption all too often in everyday transactions
with those in authority."