Loan waiver will not be long drawn out affair: PM

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New Delhi, Mar 5 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today assured the Lok Sabha that the Rs 60,000 crore loan waiver scheme announced in the Budget for farmers would be a ''simple exercise'' which would be completed by June this year and his government would make another attempt at getting the Women's Reservation Bill passed.

In his hour-long reply to the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President for her address to Parliament on February 25, Dr Singh time and again put the blame on the previous NDA government for the plight of farmers and the poor agriculture growth and for the failure to check terror attacks, upon which the Opposition interrupted the proceedings frequently, raising noise.

On the Indo-US nuclear deal, the Prime Minister did not specify whether his government would go ahead with operationalising it even in the face of Left objections, but affirmed that the proposed cooperation was good for India's energy security and economic development.

On this issue also, he provoked the BJP and its allies in the NDA that the A B Vajpayee government was ''prepared to swallow'' a similar deal that was beneficial to India only to the extent of 50 per cent of the present agreement.

The House adopted the motion by a voice vote after Leader of Opposition L K Advani had led his members in staging a walkout in protest against what he said the inadequate response of Dr Singh to the points raised by them, including the government's inaction over carrying out the death sentence passed by the Supreme Court against Afzal Guru, convicted in the Parliament attack case.

Mr Advani also rejected as ''totally false and baseless'' Dr Singh's assertion that the present debt waiver for farmers amounted to UPA footing the bill for farmers' distress that was the creation of the NDA.


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