Millennium Post

Prez speech has nothing new to offer: Mayawati

"There was nothing in the President's speech. All what has been said earlier was presented in a different way," she said outside Parliament.

"I heard the speech attentively. President's speech always reflects Centre's policy. It seems this government is doing kaam kam, baat zyada (less work more talk. At least President's address indicated that," the former UP chief minister said.

The BSP chief did not open her cards on the party's stand on the Land ordinance issue. "We will reveal our strategy on the floor of the House."

Asked about her views on Anna Hazare's agitation on the land ordinance, she said it was in the interest of farmers.

"Land Ordinance brought by the government is not in the interest of the common man. Anna Hazare is opposing it and he is doing it rightly in the interest of farmers," the BSP supremo said.

"Our party has opposed the ordinance since the beginning," she added.

Asked if her party will support Hazare's agitation, she said, "Our party was opposing it before Anna came to Jantar Mantar. We are not following Anna. Our party has its own policy. Unless they (government) makes changes in the land acquisition policy, we will strongly oppose it as the ordinance is not in the interest of farmers."

The President said legal reforms is one of the priority of the government which believes that governance and reforms are a combined effort of team India consisting of Parliament, states and the central governments, legislatures and people.

"An example of this collaborative effort is the reform in the process of appointment of Judges to the High Courts and Supreme Court and the legislation to set up National Judicial Appointments Commission.

"The government is also committed to repeal the obsolete and redundant laws. A committee constituted for this purpose has identified 1741 central Acts for repeal under various categories," he said.

Mukherjee said the government is committed to taking all possible measures to stop generation of black money, both domestically and internationally.

"These measures include putting in place robust legislative and administrative frameworks, systems and process with due focus on capacity building, integration of information through technology, and fast tracking prosecution," the President said.

Mukherjee cited government's sustained efforts and series of policy initiatives to attain a high growth trajectory.

According to the latest estimates, our GDP is growing at 7.4 per cent, which makes India the fastest growing large economy in the world. Inflation and Food inflation, in particular, are at a record low due to a number of decisive measures taken by the government, he said.

Mukherjee said fixed capital formation, which faced a near stagnation in the last few years, has increased.

"Capital Markets are upbeat. Our external sector is now far more resilient, particularly with a moderate current account deficit and a broadly stable rupee. Our foreign exchange reserves have been substantially augmented," he said.

Mukherjee said the government has intensified efforts to bring greater efficiency and equity into the tax system, "prudence in expenditure management is also high on the agenda."

A Constitutional (Amendment) Bill has been introduced to bring in Goods and Services Tax that will simplify the indirect tax regime, broaden the tax base and result in better tax compliance, the President said.

Talking about reforms in the petroleum sector, the President said the price of petrol has also been decreased.

The government has put to rest all speculation regarding the long pending issue of revising gas prices and put in place a prudent policy in national interest, he said.

The Centre is also accelerating the modernisation of armed forces, with a strong emphasis on "Make in India" in defence acquisition plans, he said.

Mukherjee said maximum governance minimum government is the guiding principle of the government.

While introducing stricter and sterner measures to deal with corruption, effort is being made to ensure that sufficient safeguards are in place to protect bona fide decisions taken in public interest and to inspire confidence in the civil service, he said.

"Measures are being taken to accomplish digital inclusion in rural areas, small towns, north-east and other remote areas, opening up immense job opportunities in these areas. Promoting manufacturing of electronic goods has been an area of thrust," the President said.
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