Manmohan Singh begins his first day in office

May 23rd, 2009 - 2:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday began his first full working day in office in his second five-year term at the head of a Congress-led coalition government.
He presided over a cabinet meeting at his residence, a day after he and 19 cabinet colleagues took the oath of office and secrecy.

“The meeting was called to decide when to convene parliament and discuss the modalities for presentation of the union budget,” said a prime ministerial aide.

Beginning his second innings in office, Manmohan Singh visited the Rajghat where he placed a wreath at the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi.

The prime minister, who has drawn out a 100-day action plan for his new government, has emphasised that his focus will be on an economic revival and ensuring inclusive growth.

According to officials in his office, he is expected to give emphasis to the United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA) unfinished agenda, especially in the infrastructure and development sectors, and announce a fresh stimulus package to pull the economy out of its present slowdown.

Talking to reporters after the swearing in at Rashtrapati Bhavan Friday, the prime minister said: “Our first priority is to restore the economy, especially keeping the global recession (in mind).

“Industrial production is down. Certain sectors need revival, though the Indian economy is not so badly affected. Corrective measures have to be taken. Growth will be our main focus.

“And when I mean growth, I mean inclusive growth that will carry everyone along including the underprivileged.”

Kapil Sibal, one of the cabinet ministers, told IANS that there would be a qualitative difference in ministry formation this time.

“The quality of governance will be different. Efficiency and performance will be the hallmark of this government,” he said.

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