M A I N   N E W S

PM announces knowledge panel
Subhrangshu Gupta

Kolkata, January 12
India will pursue its policy of seeking partnership for development with China and Pakistan along with the other countries, but there will be no compromise on the nation’s security aspect, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared today while inaugurating the three-day 10th partnership summit of the CII held on the National Library premises here this morning.

Dr Manmohan Singh said India’s policy “is to make the foe, a friend and the friend more friendly” both in the political and economic fields. The country is committed to development and expansion and at the same time making the nation strong enough to protect its sovereignty and integrity, stressed the Prime Minister.

Corporate giants like Ratan Tata, Y.Deveshwaran, N. Srinivasan, the state Chief Minister, Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, the Union Commerce and Industries Minister, Mr Kamal Nath, and the state Governor, Mr Gopal Krishna Gandhi, were among those who attended the conference.

The British Cabinet Minister for Trade and Industries, Ms Patricia Hewitt, attended the summit with a 15-member high-level business delegation. Business delegations from the European Union and Singapore were also present along with entrepreneurs of 26 countries of the world.

The Prime Minister announced the formation of a National Knowledge Commission as well as Modern Investment Commission to help develop the country’s knowledge bank and expand industries as per the UPA’s industrial and economic guidelines.

He elaborated the government’s policy of economic liberalisation and modernisation and announced the opening up of a free trade zone with Singapore and the Asian countries. “We in the government have been investment friendly and we are committed to widen up the scope of investment to the world,” he stressed.

Dr Manmohan Singh declared the government was adopting a rational tax structure policy for protecting the poor and common people from the tax burden.

Join my Cabinet, PM to Mamata
Subhrangshu Gupta

Kolkata, January 12
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has invited Ms Mamata Banerjee to join the Union Cabinet, claimed Trinamool Congress leader, Pankaj Banerjee, Chairman of the party’s policy-making body and the Leader of the Opposition in the West Bengal assembly.

Ms Banerjee also admitted having been advised by the Prime Minister to join the ministry. She said she met the Prime Minister along with several other party leaders at Raj Bhavan and lodged several complaints against the CPM-led Left Front Government, including the misuse of Central funds and official machinery for party activities.

Ms Banerjee claimed that Dr Manmohan Singh gave her a patient hearing and suggested that she should better join the ministry and deal with these problems.

The Trinamool Congress leader said she had urged the Prime Minister to come to the rescue of 69 medical students following the cancellation of their admission to two medical colleges in the state. These students who have been on fast were admitted under the NRI quota through a selection process conducted by the state Health Department. After attending classes for over six months, they had been chucked out as per the Supreme Court’s decision. She told the Prime Minister that these students had been penalised for the mistakes committed by the state government.

Dr Manmohan Singh assured her of taking up the matter with the Union Health Minister.

WBPCC (l) leader Somen Mitra and several other leaders also met the Prime Minister separately and discussed various organisational matters. He handed over a cheque for Rs 15 lakh to him for the tsunami victims.

Dr Manmohan Singh, who returned to the Capital in the evening after his two-day busy schedule in the city, visited the newly built Swami Vivekanda Museum and library at his ancestral house in north Kolkata.

The Prime Minister also opened the national football tournament at Salt Lake Stadium.Back

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