NEW DELHI: With the tough task of ministry-making over, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is keen to get down to the business of governance. “We have to get going,” Singh said while talking to reporters after the swearing-in ceremony on Friday, adding that the President’s address and Budget would point to what the government has in mind.
The remarks were yet another indication that the President’s address to the joint session of the two Houses of Parliament will pack some big announcements with regard to the economy as well as Congress’s poll promises.
The expectation is that President’s address may list specific measures the government plans to take to help economy fight off the consequences of global slowdown.
The PM refused to be drawn out on the specifics, but made it clear that the growing fiscal deficit was among the government’s top concerns. He said fiscal prudence could not be abandoned.
“We will ensure economic growth momentum but at the same time fiscal prudence will be kept in mind,” he said. Significantly, he did not fight shy of touching upon disinvestment — a political taboo so long as the government was dependent on Left’s support.
“Fiscal deficit and disinvestment of public sector units — all these issues will be tackled by the finance minister in the Budget,” Singh said, in a remark which will keep alive the suspense over whether government will put disinvestment back on the table.
Singh, like Sonia Gandhi, acknowledged that finalising his ministerial team was a difficult job. Like the Congress president, the PM talked about the difficulties posed by the need to balance different considerations , but also pointed to availability of talent as one of the determining factors. “There are several factors like availability of talent and other considerations that played a role,” he said.
Source : Economice Times 29/05/09