M A I N   N E W S

Kalam’s Address to Parliament today
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 6
The programmes and policies of the new Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government will be unveiled when President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam addresses the joint session of Parliament tomorrow.

The joint session, the first since the constitution of the 14th Lok Sabha, is significant as it marks the Congress return to power after a gap of eight years. The difference this time is that the Congress is not heading the government alone but is leading a 15-party coalition.

The government’s priorities to be highlighted in the President’s address will, therefore, be based on the new ruling combine’s common minimum programme (CMP), drawn up by the alliance partners and adopted by the Union Cabinet on May 28.

The CMP, which sets the agenda for governance for the new government, emphasises strengthening the agriculture sector and dealing with the unemployment problem.

It also emphasises social development while promising the implementation of economic reforms with a human face.

It aims at a sustained 7 to 8 per cent GDP growth. Profit-making public sector companies are not to be privatised though they will be allowed to mop up resources from the market.

The 24-page document says the Disinvestment Ministry will be disbanded, the Electricity Act will be reviewed and the “hire and fire” policies of the industries will be done away with. POTA will be repealed and new laws will be enacted to deal with communal violence

These issues can be expected to find mention in tomorrow’s President’s address.

The two Houses of Parliament will discuss the motion of thanks to the President’s address during the next three days and after the adoption of the motion, Parliament will be adjourned on June 10.

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