Noting that the situation across the border is 'not good', Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said the UPA government has initiated talks with Pakistan on the issue of imposition of religious tax on minorities in that country's tribal areas.
"The minorities are facing problems in neighbouring Pakistan...Jazia (religious tax) is being imposed on minorities...We have started talks with Pakistan on the issue," the prime minister said addressing a rally on the concluding day of campaigning for May 13 polling.
"We will take appropriate and necessary steps on the issue of imposition of jazia in neighbouring country on minorities," he said.
The Ministry of External Affairs has last month summoned a diplomat of Pakistan High Commission to register its unhappiness over Sikhs being driven out of their homes by the Taliban for failing to pay jazia. Indian High Commission in Islamabad also conveyed similar views to Pakistan Foreign Office there.
Maintaining that the situation across the border is not good, Singh said, "We will at no cost bear anything against us."
India, he said, wanted friendly and cordial relations with its neighbouring countries.
Asserting that the UPA managed to check price rise during economic meltdown, he said, "the Congress has got the experience to handle such situations."
Singh said the Centre will find out new means for the benefit of farmers and labourers and stressed that during the period of economic recession it is only the Congress which can show the right path to the country.
"Our government is capable of facing the problem of unemployment," he said adding the Centre had started many new projects for the generation of employment.
"Our progress is better than several countries," he said, adding the Centre had started a programme to provide employment at the rural level.
Highlighting the achievements of his government, Singh said the UPA Government raised the budget allocation for education.
An Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) was approved for Punjab in Ropar which is linked with IIT Delhi, he said adding two new universities have also been sanctioned for Amritsar and Bathinda.
He said the Centre has disbursed a grant of Rs 100 crore for the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). Besides a new institute of bio-technology has been approved at Mohali, he added.