India has fixed ambitious targets to accelerate infrastructural development: PM
New Delhi, Aug.15 (ANI): India has set itself ambitious targets to accelerate infrastructural development and to create new employment opportunities, said the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Wednesday.
Addressing the nation on the occasion of the country's 65th Independence Day from the ramparts of the historic 17th century-built Red Fort, Dr. Singh said: "Creation of new employment opportunities is possible only when we encourage industry and trade. For this, we need to speedily improve our infrastructure."
"Recently we have taken new measures to accelerate infrastructure development. Ambitious targets have been fixed in roads, airports, railways, electricity generation and coal production. The government will take steps to increase investment for infrastructure development with the help of the private sector," he added.
"To attract foreign capital, we will have to create confidence at the international level that there are no barriers to investment in India," Dr. Singh said.
He further revealed that till a decade ago, only three out of every ten households in India's villages were benefitting from banking services, and today, it was a matter of satisfaction and pride that more than half of the rural households have bank accounts.
"It will be our endeavour to ensure that all households benefit from bank accounts in the next two years," Dr. Singh said, adding, " We want to create a system in which money from Government schemes - pension for old people, scholarship for students and wages for labourers - can be credited directly into people's bank accounts. This would reduce inconvenience to the beneficiaries, make it easy for them to receive payment and increase transparency."
"For this work, we will take help from the Aadhar scheme under which about 20 crore people have been registered so far," he said.
"To provide housing for our poor brothers and sisters residing in urban areas of our country we will soon launch the Rajiv Housing Loan Scheme," Dr. Singh, adding that under this scheme, people belonging to the economically weaker sections would be given relief on interest for housing loans of less than Rs. 5 lakh.
Announcing that the Twelfth Five Year Plan would be put up for consideration before the National Development Council, the Prime Minister said that the Plan would determine the future course of action on all important matters relating to the country's development.
"It would lay down measures for increasing our present rate of economic growth from 6.5 to 9 per cent in the last year of the Plan. The Plan would focus special attention on areas important from the point of view of reaching the fruits of development to each citizen of our country, and specially, to the weaker sections of our society. I have full confidence that the Centre and the States will act together to implement the Twelfth Plan in an effective manner," he said.
"Our commitment to make the work of the government and administration transparent and accountable stands. On the last Independence Day, I promised you that we would take many steps for this purpose. I am happy to state that during the last one year we have achieved good progress in this area," Dr. Singh said.
On the issue of the Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill, he said that with the Lok Sabha giving its approval to the latest draft to fight all forms of corruption, he was hopeful that all political parties would help the government to pass the Bill in the Rajya Sabha. (ANI)
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