External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said on Wednesday that the Union government had “no role” in the decision to halt road construction work along the Sino-Indian border following Chinese protest.
Attempting to shed responsibility in the matter, Krishna said, “The decision to start or halt the road construction work was that of the state government. The state government neither consulted the centre, nor brought the matter to its notice”.
“We came to know about the affair from the media reports”, Krishna said.
Work on a road project in Demchok in Ladakh region was stopped after China objected. However, Krishna said the government was giving a big push to infrastructure development on the Sino-Indian borders.
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Wednesday announced that the UPA government would table the Justice Rangnath Mishra Commission report on the status of religious and linguistic minorities during the on-going Parliament session.
His assurance came in the Lok Sabha after the Samajwadi Party created a ruckus and demanded the government to instantly table the report.
“... I take note of this (demand). We’ll present the report in the Parliament towards the end of the current session,” he said.
The report was submitted to the PM in 2007.
Figures laid out by the Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday revealed that there has been a dip in the demand for Indian workers abroad.
While 8-8.5 lakh Indian workers went abroad in 2007 and 2008, the number this year is just 5.18 lakh till October-end.
In the first ten months of this year, the fall in emigration compared to 2008 is 39 percent.
clean ganga by 2020
The Centre has proposed to the 13th financial commission to provide Rs 1,300 crore for maintaining sewage treatment plants along the Ganga river to prevent further pollution.
Environment and Forests minister Jairam Ramesh said that a large number of treatment plants had been set up under the Ganga Action Plan but these were not being put to proper use due to lack of funds.
“I admit the health of Ganga is poor. But we have proposed that by 2020, no untreated sewage of industrial effluent would go to Ganga,” he said.
pc defends no talks
The government’s stand of “no talks” with insurgent groups till they lay down arms has “paid dividends”, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said on Wednesday.
He said, “My appeal is common to all insurgent groups in the North-East. They must give up any demand for sovereignty. They must abjure violence and lay down arms and then, certainly, the way is open to talks.”
He said if ULFA will be able to make a political statement containing “an offer for talks” , the government will be prepared to hold talks.