(Embargoed for publication/broadcast after 1930 hrs)

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2007, 16:43 [IST]

New Delhi, May 22 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today pledged to take further steps to win the war against poverty, extremism, communalism and terrorism, keep prices under control, accelerate the tempo of agricultural production, strengthen the public distribution system, and improve the quality of delivery systems for education and health care.

Presenting the UPA Government's annual 'Report to the People' on completion of three years in office, Dr Singh highlighted the Centre's initiatives in agriculture and rural development, in infrastructure and services and in education and healthcare to make the growth process inclusive.

He, however, acknowledged that the growth process unleashed by the Government had put some pressure on prices, particularly of some essential commodities.

''We have taken credible steps to control inflation and will continue to be vigilant on this front so that the poor and vulnerable sections of society do not suffer unduly,'' he said with an emphasis on the 'aam aadami'.

''We have made arrangements to augment supplies wherever feasible and hope to keep prices in check,'' he asserted.

The Prime Minister also pointed to the steps taken to accelerate economic growth in the North East and find lasting solutions to the problems of Jammu and Kashmir.

He said Jammu and Kashmir, which had been distressed by terrorism for many years, had seen a healing touch over the past few years.

His Government had been effectively engaging with as many political and other groups as possible to understand the underlying causes of dissatisfaction, while working for the increasing development of the state through improvements in infrastructure, tourism facilities and educational and health services.

''The roundable series of conferences (on Kashmir) has thrown light on some of the issues and we are working collectively to find lasting solutions to the problems of the state,'' he said.

Connected with the Kashmir problem, Pakistan also finds mention in the Report with the Prime Minister stating that the meaningful and constructive dialogue entered into with Islamabad had the potential to bringing peace and prosperity to the region as a whole.

On the foreign policy front, Dr Singh said the agreement to enter into cooperation in civil nuclear energy with the United States and the on-going negotiations with the Nuclear Suppliers Group would mark a turning point in India's developmental history.

''The access to high technology and to nuclear energy that this agreement will enable further boost our developmental aspirations.'' He said the other gains for the foreign policy were cementing ties with China, Japan, Russia and the European Union, economic engagement with countries of the Persian Gulf, and reinforcing traditional ties with Africa and the Arab world.

''Never before has the external, political and economic environment been more benign and supportive of our development aspirations,'' he said.

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