Price control, fighting terror priorities for Indian government

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New Delhi, Feb 22 (ANI): President Pratibha Devisingh Patil today assured that the government is doing its best to ensure that the prices of commodities are kept in check.

Addressing the joint sitting of the Parliament today, President Patil assert that the UPA government accords highest importance to ensuring relief to the 'aam admi' on food prices and said it is committed to bring a legislation to ensure food security.

"In the longer term, our food security can be ensured only through sustained efforts at increasing agricultural productivity combined with a comprehensive reform of the public distribution system and open market intervention," she added.

She said: "India has weathered the economic crisis better than other countries. India's economy is likely to grow by 7.5 per cent in current fiscal. The government will target over eight per cent growth in next fiscal and nine per cent in 2011-12."

"Steps are being taken to boost the availability of sugar, wheat and agricultural production in the country," she added.

The President said import regime for essential commodities has been liberalized. 30 lakh tones of wheat and rice has been released in the open market besides seven lakh tones of wheat and rice through various government marketing agencies.

She said that state governments have been asked to take effective action against hoarders and black marketers and make appropriate use of state agencies for procurement of non PDS food articles in bulk.

She reiterated government's commitment to the early passage of Women's Reservation Bill introduced in the Rajya Sabha.

She urged members to accord special attention to this proposal and announced that a new scheme for rural LPG distribution, Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vitarak has also been launched to provide access to poor families to gas and other petro products.

President Patil said multi sectoral development programmes has also started in Minority dominated districts and the government is bringing an amendment to the Waqf Act in this session.

Referring to other initiatives of the government, she said National Action Plan on Climate Change has been launched. The focus is to produce 20000 Mega watts of solar power besides enhancing energy efficiency. A National Green Tribunal has also been set up to deal with climate cases expeditiously.

Talking about the flagship programmes, President explained in detail the achievements in various areas including Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act , Bhrat Nirman , Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana , Power to all, Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission , Rajiv Awas Yojana, Development of airports , Delhi Mumbai industrial corridor projects and Mission clean Ganga and other programmes aimed to ensure inclusive and balanced growth of the people.

On the issue infiltration bids along the Indo-Pak border and the incidents of red menace increasing, President Patil emphasized the need to fight Maoists and cross border terrorism effectively.

"India need to fight the growing red menace and cross-border terrorism. Maoists pose a major threat to India's internal security. We urge the Maoists to give up violence and accept the government's offer to hold talks," she said.

"Government remains vigilant against all forms of challenges posed by terrorism. Zero tolerance of terrorist activities is our principal policy. We have to keep constant watch and innovate against global terrorist groups," she added. (ANI)

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