New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday promised to work personally for providing an "honest and efficient government.”
"I want to assure you all on this New Year`s day that I personally will work to provide an honest and more efficient government; a more productive, competitive and robust economy and a more equitable and just social and political order", the Prime Minister said in his New Year message to the nation.
Breaking his silence on the midnight Lokpal drama, the Prime Minister said it was "unfortunate" that Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill could not be passed by the Rajya Sabha.
Terming corruption a "serious problem", Singh called for a “multi-dimensional” response to tackle the menace.
“New institutions such as Lokpal and Lokayuktas are an important part of the solution. The government is committed to enact an effective Lokpal act,” the PM said.
Focusing on the reforms in governance, Singh said, "We also need reforms in systems of governance which would increase transparency and minimise discretion so that the scope of misgovernance is reduced"
"The year that has just ended was a very difficult year for the world," he said, citing the economic crisis, socio economic tensions, "political upheavals in many developing countries".
“These issues kept governments around the world on their toes", he said, adding that "we in India have had our share of problems."
Singh said in India the economy slowed down, inflation edged up and "concern about corruption moved to the centre stage".
Counseling against despondency, he said, "we must address the new concerns that have arisen while remaining steadfast in our commitment to put the nation on a development path.”
The nine-page message gave an overview of a host of subjects like economic situation, food security, national security, ecological security and social issues.
He identified five key challenges such as livelihood security, (education, food, health and employment), economic security, energy security, ecological security and national security.
"We must work together as a nation to address the challenges”, the PM added.
With PTI inputs