Manmohan firm on reforms, slams critics

Last Updated: Sat, Sep 29, 2012 18:41 hrs

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday defended the recently announced economic reforms of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and said they are 'not once-for-all process' and the government will do everything for the 'good' of the country.

He slammed Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who accused him of working for the benefit of the ´US´, and said Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail has nothing to do with the US.

"FDI has nothing to do with the US. We are not to be dictated by others," Singh said while speaking on the sidelines of the oath-taking ceremony of new Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir here.

"We will do what is good for the country. Reforms are not once-for-all process," he said.

Singh on Saturday also welcomed the opinion given by the Supreme Court on the allocation of natural resources.

"We honour Supreme Court opinion on Presidential reference on allocation of natural resources," the PM said.

Giving a major relief to the Centre battling the coal block allocation controversy, the Supreme Court on Thursday said the auction order in the 2G scam was restricted to the telecom sector only and it does not believe that it applies to other sectors.

Modi on Friday hit out at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and said the country would like to know that why he became a ´Singham´ (lion) to benefit the interest of foreigners and not of India.

"Only two times you became a Singham. The first time you became a Singham was at the time of Nuclear Deal and then during FDI in retail," the senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said while addressing a BJP public meeting here.

"Why does the PM become active whenever there is election in the US? What is the connection?" Modi said.

Linking the economic reforms with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Modi said: "Why the decision to implement FDI was taken on the second day of Sonia Gandhi's arrival from the US?"

Pertinently, ´Singham´ is a Bollywood film where actor Ajay Devgn had played the character of a tough police inspector of the same name.

India on Sept 14 threw open its doors to more foreign investment in retail, aviation and broadcast sectors, while also announcing disinvestment in four state-run industries in moves that were long seen as critical to revive flagging growth and confidence in Asia's third-biggest economy.

The reforms, the came just a day after the government also announced cut to its fuel subsidy bill by announcing hikes in diesel prices and a limit to the number of subsidised LPG cylinders sold to households, were met a huge political backlash.

UPA government´s key alliance partner Trinamool Congress (TMC) withdrew its support voicing opposition on the move.

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