India will emerge ‘least affected’ in global downturn: PM (Lead)

February 26th, 2009 - 7:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Feb 26 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday said India would emerge “the least affected” country in the world from the current global economic meltdown.
“Today we are witnessing the global economic downturn. Let me assure this house that India would emerge the least affected among the countries of the world from the current economic crisis,” the prime minister said in a message read out by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee at the end of the 14th session of the Lok Sabha.

The prime minister also highlighted the achievements of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, saying: “The country faced some of the best times during the last five years, as it became the second fastest growing economy in the world.”

The prime minister, who is recuperating after a cardiac bypass surgery, expressed his apologies for not being able to participate in the last session of the 14th Lok Sabha.

Listing the legislations enacted in the last five years, he mentioned the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, the Right to Information Act and the Unorganised Workers Social Security Act that had redefined the role and rights of citizens.

As for India’s foreign policy, the prime minister said it was steered in a manner that had succeeded in “ending the nuclear isolation (and) creating unprecedented global opportunities”.

He also lavished praise on Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chaterjee, emphasising that he had emerged as a role model in transacting the business of the house.

“In transacting business in this parliament, you set yourself as a role model. We strained your patience and at times even your conscience,” the prime minister said in the message to Chatterjee.

“There were unusual times when you had to take a call between defending parliamentary propriety and heeding the demands of the organisation that you had spent a lifetime building. On all such occasions your sagacity prevailed.”

Manmohan Singh also had a word of praise for Leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani.

“I would be failing in my duty if I don’t thank the Leader of Opposition, Shri Advaniji, in always being constructive, as we collectively addressed national challenges in spite of occasional disagreements.”

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