New Delhi, Aug 15 : Following is the third part of the text of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's address from the Red Fort on the occasion f the nation's 62nd Independence Day:
Brothers and Sisters,
Providing employment has been a special priority for us. Our policies for agriculture, for industry, for infrastructure development and for skill development, will all promote employment.
Our beloved former Prime Minister Shrimati Indira Gandhi had said, "Garibi Hatao". Our leader Shrimati Sonia Gandhi has given us the slogan, "Rozgar Badhao". Our Government is making special efforts to create "rozgar" to fight "garibi".
The National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme is a historic initiative of our Government. Today the entire country is covered by this programme. The NREGA is providing minimum livelihood support to the crores of neediest among us. It is aimed to soften the sharp edges of poverty.
To create more employment we need more investment in agriculture, in manufacturing and in infrastructure. We need a new wave of industrialization to generate more employment. If industrial development has any adverse impact on some of our rural folk, we will ensure that there is reasonable compensation and proper rehabilitation. A new Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy has been formulated and we will seek Parliament's approval for it.
We have introduced a bill in Parliament to provide social security to the workers of the unorganized sector. Our Government has launched the Aam Aadmi Beema Yojana, under which one member of each landless family in rural areas will be insured. We have also started a programme to provide health insurance to Below Poverty Line families of workers in the unorganized sector. Citizens above 65 years of age, living below the poverty line are being covered under the Indira Gandhi Pension Scheme.
My dear countrymen,
In the past four years we have seen a sharp increase in the rate of investment. This has contributed to an increase in the rate of growth of the economy.
For the first time in history, we have had four years of nearly 9.0 percent economic growth. India is among the world's fastest growing economies.
But there are new challenges that we face. We have the challenge of inflation. I know how much each one of you is concerned about the recent rise in prices. The inflation we have seen this year is basically due to external factors. All over the world and in global markets the price of food, fuel and other commodities has been rising. In many developing countries the rate of inflation is double that in India.
Our government has worked hard to ensure that in India the rate of inflation is not as high as in many other countries. We have also taken special measures to insulate the poorer sections of our society from the full impact of rising food and fuel prices. Our government has not raised the price of kerosene and fertilizers. We have not raised the issue price of wheat and rice under PDS.
We are taking determined measures to bring prices under reasonable control. I have urged all Chief Ministers to improve and strengthen the PDS to ensure availability of essential commodities to the common man at reasonable prices. The Reserve Bank of India is moderating the growth of money supply in the country so that inflation can be controlled. However, while making these efforts we should avoid doing anything which hurts our growth.