UPA report card: Govt claims all-round achievement
UPA report card: Govt claims all-round achievementindia Updated: May 22, 2006 21:01 IST
Improved relations with the US, job guarantees for the poor, schemes for urban renewal and major initiatives on foreign policy are among the highlights of the report card on two years of the UPA government released by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday.
Calling such an annual appraisal unprecedented in India's political history, the 64-page 'Report to the People' says that steps taken by the government were to improve the life of Indians and create a caring, inclusive, dynamic and modern nation.
"In a short span of two years, the UPA has been able to implement a large number of the commitments made in the National Common Minimum Programme," said the report, referring to the coalition's main document for governance.
UPA chairperson and Congress party president Sonia Gandhi, Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat and representatives of some key constituents of the coalition attended the function.
The report covers a wide range of areas such as health, education, minorities, women, rural development, urban renewal, agriculture, disaster management, Jammu and Kashmir, the Northeast, energy, infrastructure, trade and foreign policy.
Following are the highlights of the report released ahead of UPA's coordination committee meeting on Tuesday to review the government's performance, for which the Left parties - which lend outside support to the coalition - have also been invited:
- National Rural Health Mission launched to strengthen public health management and service delivery.
- National Employment Guarantee Act passed to provide social security to labour in the unorganised sector in rural areas.
- National Urban Renewal Mission launched for comprehensive development of basic services and infrastructure for urban poor in all state capitals, cities with a million-plus population and some other important cities.
- Women empowered further with law against domestic violence and amendment of the Hindu Succession Act to bring their inheritance rights at par with men.
- Right to Information Act passed to ensure that citizens are empowered to know how government works at all levels and to increase transparency in governance.
- National Urban Transport Policy unveiled to improve mobility in urban India with safe, affordable, quick, comfortable, reliable and sustainable access.
- Initiated peace process in Jammu and Kashmir with roundtable conferences with political groups, release of detainees and start of bus service between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
- Held unconditional talks with various ethnic groups in the Northeast for peace and stability in the region, resulting in a marked reduction in killings and abduction of civilians and security personnel.
- Set up the Investment Commission and the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council to extend institutional support to industry and to create the necessary policy framework for manufacturing sector.
- Foreign direct investment policy eased and procedural formalities simplified to attract overseas investment and investment caps on telecom, civil aviation and construction reduced.
- Special Economic Zone Act passed for providing world-class infrastructure and regulatory mechanism in these export-oriented areas.
- Law enacted to create a regulator for petroleum and natural gas, provide access to pipelines on a non-discriminatory basis and promote competition.
- Created framework for access to international cooperation for enlargement of civilian nuclear energy on reciprocal commitments.
- Action plan finalised for development of national highways at a cost of Rs 175 billion and review initiated by the Prime Minister for world-class infrastructure.
- Scheme initiated to extend citizenship to all overseas Indians who emigrated after January 26, 1950.
- Nurtured and ensured growth of India's engagement with the rest of the world, with strategic partnerships notably with the US, Russia, Japan and the European Union.
- Pursued a policy of constructive engagement with Pakistan with commitment that no part of the country's territory will be used to support terrorism.
- Agreed to the political parameters and guiding principles to upgrade bilateral talks with China and bilaterally resolve the long-drawn border question.
- Transformed relations with the US, with framework agreements on defence ties, energy cooperation and science and technology and commitment to work together on civilian nuclear energy.