UPA highlights its achievements, BJP terms it a monumental failure

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New Delhi, May 22 (UNI) The UPA government today highlighted a plethora of achievements -- including in infrastructure, education and minority welfare -- as it marked its third anniversary in power, while the opposition BJP mocked at its commitment to the aam aadmi and termed the regime as a ''monumental failure.'' The UPA celebrated the occasion with a gala dinner for leaders of the constituent parties and the Left party allies, where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh formally released a performance report of his government.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Singh expressed ''sincere and heartfelt gratitude'' to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, to all the leaders of all the parties constituting the UPA and to the Left allies and said it was their support that has given them the strength to ''try and redeem our pledge to our people to the best of our ability.'' He announced that in the next ten days, the government will be unveiling a major initiative which will not only enhance the total public investment in agriculture but will also enable states to resolve problems of agriculture through comprehensive, localised plans.

Dr Singh also stressed the need to replicate the success of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan in the Secondary Education Sector and said a major programme for universalising secondary education would be announced. ''This, along with the Vocational Education Mission and our plans for a rapid expansion of the University system, should enable every Indian to be equipped with the necessary skills for securing gainful employment and a livelihood in our rapidly growing economy,'' he said.

He also said there was a need to meet the rapid rise in demand for power and ''will engage all Chief Ministers in a dialogue to move to a power surplus position by 2012. ''Credible steps will be taken to improve the public health system and to provide a social safety net for workers in the unorganised sector,'' he added.

Highlighting that the main objective of our Government in the past three years was to ensure that, while sustaining higher rates of economic growth, the improved performance of the economy contributes to employment generation, poverty reduction and human development, the Prime Minister admitted that they recognised that high national income growth alone does not address the challenge of employment promotion, poverty reduction and balanced regional development.

''Nor does growth in itself improve human development, he said, adding that the National Common Minimum Programme is based on the recognition that economic growth must be socially inclusive and regionally balanced.

''This has been the guiding principle of our Government's policies in the past three years,'' he noted.

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