'We need to do better', says PM at UPA II's third anniversary
New Delhi, May 22 (ANI): Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, who presented the report card of UPA-II as the government completed three years in office, today said that there was a 'need to do better'.
"It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to this function to mark the completion of the third year of the second UPA government. I believe that the annual Report to the People that we are releasing today presents an objective statement of what we have achieved in office over the past year. I welcome an informed and constructive debate on our performance," said Dr. Singh.
"We will be the first to say we need to do better. But let no one doubt that we have achieved much," he added.
Dr. Singh said the economy grew by about 7 percent in 2011-12 despite an adverse international environment.
"Despite an adverse international environment, the economy grew by about 7 percent in 2011-12, which is amongst the highest in the world. Sustained high rates of growth during the UPA Government's tenure have enabled us to pursue our agenda of inclusive and equitable growth," he said.
Highlighting some of the achievement of his government that has benefited the common man of this country, Dr. Singh said: "Poverty has declined at twice the rate that it did before the UPA Government's tenure. There have been notable successes in agriculture. The agricultural growth rate has risen to 3.3 percent per annum in the 11th Five Year Plan as against 2.3% per annum in the 10th Five Year Plan. Rural wages also have increased. Farmers have been given handsome prices for their crops."
"This year has seen record foodgrain production, crossing 250 million tonnes for the first time in our history. More than Rs 2 lakh crores was disbursed to 2.75 crore marginal and small farmers as loans," he added.
Dr. Singh informed that the government has opened 51,000 schools and appointed 6.8 lakh teachers in the last two years."Primary school enrolment has become near universal. We have opened 51,000 schools and appointed 6.8 lakh teachers in the last two years," he said.
The Prime Minister further said the government provided 10 crore new telephone connections last year, which included more than four crore in rural areas.
"India was the second fastest growing telecom market in the world. We added nearly 10 crore new telephone connections last year, including more than 4 crore in rural areas," said Dr. Singh.
"We added new power generation capacity of 20,000 MW last year which is almost equal to the capacity added during the entire 10th Five Year Plan Period. We provided 35 lakh new electricity connections in rural India last year," he added.
Dr. Singh said affirmative measures to help expand opportunities for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, minorities and women are a top priority for the UPA Government, and added that these efforts are being intensified.
Dr. Singh also congratulated the scientists over the test launch of the Agni-5 long range ballistic missile and the successful fabrication and launch of the RISAT-1 satellite"Last year saw the flawless test launch of the Agni-5 long range ballistic missile and the successful fabrication and launch of the RISAT-1 satellite which can take images even in cloudy weather. I congratulate our scientists for these great achievements," he said.
Dr. Singh said the internal security scenario has by and large been satisfactory.
"The peaceful conduct of Panchayat elections in Kashmir and the high voter turnout show that things are changing in the State. The scourge of Naxalism however continues to be a major problem and I seek the cooperation of the concerned State Governments to tackle this menace," he said.
Talking about India's foreign policy, Dr. Singh said there were significant developments in the relations with neighbours, notably with Bangladesh, Pakistan and Myanmar.
"The success of the BRICS Summit held in New Delhi reflects India's growing presence on the world stage. As a responsible member of the United Nations Security Council and other international fora, we have made important contributions in addressing global issues," said Dr. Singh.
"Despite these real achievements, there are uncertainties and a large unfinished agenda before us," he added. (ANI)
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