ON TRACK.PM's reforms train gets Sonia push
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ( extreme right) on major reform initiatives have received party chief Sonia Gandhi's backing.PRIME Minister Manmohan Singh, who now holds additional charge of the finance ministry, has a free hand to put the reform process back on track, Congress sources have said. And the PM has the support of party chief Sonia Gandhi Sonia Gandhi (Hindi: सोनिया गांधी, IPA: [soːnɪjaː gaːndʰiː]), born Sonia Antonia Maino in his initiative.
Congress sources were of the view that though election results did not depend solely on the country's growth rate, the latter did play a crucial role in job creation as well as pump- priming investment in social sector flagship schemes.
With the Lok Sabha The Lok Sabhha (alternatively titled, the House of the People, by the Constitution of India) is the lower house in the Parliament of India. The Lok Sabha also stands for the term of the lower house between consecutive parliamentary general elections in India. polls about 18 months away, Sonia and Singh have found a new synergy after the appointment of Pulok Chatterjee as the principal secretary to the PM. The Congress chief is kept in the loop on major reform initiatives and aam admi schemes.
A senior party leader claimed that the global downturn and coalition compulsions were behind the slight slowing down of India's growth story. He categorically pointed out that the PM, former finance minister Pranab Mukherjee Pranab Kumar Mukherjee (Bengali: প্রণব কুমার মুখার্জী or Sonia could not be blamed for the current situation.
Soon after he took additional charge of the finance ministry, the PM had unveiled a series of steps to boost the economy.
This included building infrastructure, increasing energy potential, FDI FDI
See: Foreign direct investment in retail and aviation sectors, pushing economic ministries into taking steps to boost investment, managing subsidies on food, fuel and fertiliser, thrust on social sector schemes and handling petroleum prices in a rational way.
A clear signal that the Congress had thrown its weight behind the PM on these reforms emanated from AICC AICC anti-inhibitor coagulant complex. general secretary Rahul Gandhi's public endorsement of FDI in retail, a party member said. Sources said the party was alive to the aspirations of corporate India and supported structural reforms, including the direct taxes code and goods and services tax The Goods and Services Tax is a Value-added tax that exists in a number of countries. Please see:
Greenwich sidereal time
GST (in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada) Goods and Services Tax ), which were needed to boost the economy.
Absolving Mukherjee of criticism for his inability to arrest the economic slowdown, party insiders said by the time he took charge of the finance ministry, the global meltdown had already started impacting the world economy.
The real problem was lack of numbers in Parliament, especially in the Rajya Sabha and coalition compulsions and not the " so called disconnect between the party and the PM", a senior leader said.
According to sources within the Congress, UPA constituents -- the Trinamool Congress in particular -- had been opposing reform measures such as FDI in multi- brand retail, the pension and insurance Bills and Land Acquisition Act. They said that in addition to this internal hurdle, several BJP BJP Bharatiya Janata Party (India)
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BJP Boston Jolly Pirates ruled states had reservations about GST. In his budget speech in early May, Mukherjee had stated that the government would give a thrust to insurance and pension reform legislations as well as banking law amendment Bills.
But opposition from the Trinamool, Left parties and a section of the BJP put a spanner in the UPA's works.
Congress sources said the parliamentary standing committee on finance, headed by BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, had not favoured an increase in FDI cap from 26 per cent to 49 per cent in both insurance and pension.
" We ( the party) are absolutely committed to reforms," Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said on Sunday. He added that the UPA's economic policy stood on two legs -- " high growth and robust investment in equity". " To achieve the latter, it is imperative that second- generation reforms take place and put India back on the high growth trajectory. That, in turn, would translate into enhanced funding for our social sector programmes," Tewari explained.
He said while the UPA matched its words with deeds on the commitment to reforms, the BJP- led NDA government was just rhetorically inclined towards growth.
Senior party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Satyavrat Chaturvedi said the impression that the Congress chief may not back the PM on reforms was absolutely incorrect. " On the contrary, the party has been firmly with the government in clearing all the reforms Bills that were tabled in Parliament.
One or two allies may be stalling the proposed legislations, but the Congress is all for reforms," he said.
Sources said the government is expected to push FDI in retail very soon and other key reform legislations such as the pension, Insurance and banking reform Bills and the direct tax codes are expected to be processed during the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament.
The Parliament standing committee on finance had recently submitted its report recommending raising the FDI cap to 49 per cent on insurance. The government is expected to revisit it, a source said.
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