PM makes no promises in Independence Day address
In a departure from practice, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did not announce any new welfare scheme or promises in his Independence Day address on Sunday.
"I have no promises to make, but I have promises to keep", he told the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort in New Delhi.
Focusing on equitable social and economic development, the Prime Minister encapsulated Government's development agenda in Saat Sutra saying implementation of policies was the real challenge.
Culling out seven priority areas — agriculture, water, education, health care, employment, urban renewal and infrastructure — from the National Common Minimum Programme, Singh, a reformist economist, said "the real challenge for me and for the Government at all levels is the challenge of implementation of our stated policies and programmes."
He said "the concern of most of our citizens revolves around what we do for agriculture, water, education, health and employment. We recognise that for the development of the country what we are able to do in the key infrastructure sectors like power, roads, railways, ports and airports is also critical."
At the same time, Singh sought public-private partnership, saying that "when we launched economic reforms over a decade ago, we tried to liberate individual enterprise from stranglehold of bureaucracy. We will continue to widen the space available for private enterprise and individual initiative."