Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has asserted that government is very serious to bring to book the guilty in the corruption cases regardless of the position they hold.
These include 2G spectrum allocation, CWG and other alleged scams. He also made it clear that he is ready to appear before any panel including JPC.
In his interaction with the senior editors of electronic media in New Delhi on Wednesday, Singh said there has been no effort in the PMO to dilute the decision of the space commission to annul the agreement between Antrix the commercial arm of the ISRO and Devas.
Singh said the agreement between the two on spectrum allocation will soon be taken up by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).
Singh while conceding shortcomings in the governing process said that he was not aware of the methodology of the controversial first come first serve policy in the 2G spectrum allocation.
He however said that the ministries of finance and telecom had agreed to continue with the existing policy of allocating 2G spectrum.
On retaining A. Raja as Telecom Minister in the UPA second, the Prime Minister said that in a coalition government, the choices of the leaders of the alliance partners have to be accepted and his name was suggested by the DMK.
In reply to a question, he acknowledged that some compromises have to be made in managing a coalition government.
He however said UPA is a strong coalition and there is no danger of inner tension leading to its breakup. Singh said that he was ready to appear before any panel including the JPC.
The Prime Minister said that the government is holding talks with the opposition and expressed hope that the forthcoming Budget Session will be orderly.
On reforms he said a host of initiatives will be unveiled in the Budget to be presented in Parliament on 28th February.
He charged the opposition for delaying the introduction of crucial bills including amendment on goods and services tax in Parliament.
He alleged that opposition particularly BJP has taken a very hostile attitude and said government is working on Food Security Bill while as Right to Education is now a reality.
Singh said that there is a possibility of fresh wave of infrastructure investment with the help of Public Private Partnership Model.
On inflation, Singh exuded confidence that it will come down to seven percent by the end of this fiscal.
He made it clear that government is trying to tackle the situation without hurting growth which he said will be 8.5 percent for the current fiscal.
The Prime Minister said that government is trying to strike a balance between growth and inflation despite having no control over international events including rising prices of crude oil and food commodities.
Talking about internal security, Singh said that the situation in the North East is getting normal with ULFA holding talks with the Centre.
The Union Home Ministry has said that five more groups are holding talks with the government to usher in an era of peace and prosperity in the region.
On Jammu and Kashmir the Prime Minister said that after turbulence the situation is under control and people of state can look forward to development process.
He said several initiatives have been taken by the government to bring in peace in the State and spoke about the Rangarajan panel which is looking into creating employment opportunities.
He said once the panel submits its report a fresh hope for productive employment will be generated among the youth in the state.
The Prime Minister urged media not to excessively focus on negative aspects which affect the sense of self confidence in the country.
Singh called upon the government, media and the opposition to work together to take India’s march forward.
Singh also said that it is premature to speculate on the next elections and the Prime Ministerial candidate for it.
PM to restructure Cabinet after Budget Session
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has made it clear that he would go for a “restructuring” of his Cabinet soon after the Budget Session of Parliament.
“I have said that after the Budget Session of Parliament is over, there will be a restructuring, reshuffle of the Cabinet and I hope I will get back to that task once the Budget Session is over,” he told editors of the electronic media in New Delhi on Wednesday.
He was asked whether he would ‘at all’ go for a major reshuffle. After the first reshuffle of his ministry on 19th January, the Prime Minister had said that he would go for a “more expansive” exercise after the Budget Session which concludes on 21st April.
In the reshuffle, Singh had not dropped any of the ministers but had changed portfolios of several of them in order to give a fresh look to his government.