THT 10 years ago: Create environment for investment: PM

New Delhi, April 27, 2007

Urging trade unions and business leaders to create an environment in which all stakeholders have adequate incentive to be active, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday said a situation needed to be created in which both the government and the private sector are encouraged to invest.

“To promote new employment we need an environment in which both the government and the private sector are encouraged to invest. There is much that trade unions and business leaders can do to help us create such an environment,” Singh said at the inaugural address at the 41st Session of Indian Labour Conference. “I sincerely believe that if we can provide an environment in which investors feel confident enough to invest, we will be able to generate more gainful employment and promote workers’ welfare.”

While drawing on the experience of China, which had done well in both industrial modernisation and management of technical change, Singh hinted at a word of caution, pointing out that change should not be borne unduly by the working class. “It is our solemn duty to protect the interests of workers and of all those seeking work even as we manage processes of social and economic change.

It is, therefore, necessary to evolve mechanisms to smoothen the effects of processes of technological change,” he said. Singh said the real challenge before the government was to increase the skilled workforce from about 5 per cent at present to about 50 per cent, a norm in many developed countries.

Informal 8-party meet held to end impasse

Leaders of the eight parties today held an informal meeting to find a way out of the present political deadlock and maintain unity. They said their discussion mainly focused on preparing ground for holding a formal eight-party meeting at the earliest to decide on what course to take in the wake Election Commission’s stated inability to hold constituent assembly polls on June 20.

Maoist chairman Prachanda, emerging from the meeting called by the Janamorcha Nepal, said, “The political deadlock resulted after some of the constituents of the eight parties proposed to declare the country a republic following the postponement of the constituent assembly polls.” CPN-UML general secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal simply said today’s meeting was to prepare ground for a formal eight-party meeting. Dr Minendra Rijal of the Nepali Congress-Democratic said, “Some important decisions need to be taken to keep intact the eight-party unity.”

But he did not elaborate on what could keep the eight-party unity intact. NC general secretary and Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Ram Chandra Poudel, who arrived here late in the meeting, told the media that the PM would call an eight-party meeting.