National Common Minimum
of United Progressive Alliance Government
of United Progressive Alliance Government
people of India have voted decisively in the 14 th Lok Sabha elections for
secular, progressive forces, for parties wedded to the welfare of farmers,
agricultural labour, weavers, workers and weaker sections of society, for
parties irrevocably committed to the daily well-being of the common man across
keeping with this mandate, the Congress, its pre-poll allies that include the
RJD, DMK, NCP, PMK, TRS, JMM, LJP, MDMK, AIMIM, PDP, IUML, RPI (A), RPI (G) and
KC(J) have come together to form a United Progressive Alliance (UPA). The UPA
government supported by the Left Parties will have six basic principles for
to preserve, protect and promote social
harmony and to enforce the law without fear or favour to deal
with all obscurantist and fundamentalist elements who seek to disturb social
amity and peace.
to ensure that the economy grows at
least 7-8% per year in a sustained manner over a decade and more and in a manner
that generates employment so that each family is assured of a safe and viable
to enhance the welfare and well-being
of farmers, farm labour and workers, particularly those in the unorganized
sector and assure a secure future for their families in every respect.
to fully empower women politically,
educationally, economically and legally.
to provide for full equality of
opportunity, particularly in education and employment for scheduled castes,
scheduled tribes, OBCs and religious minorities.
to unleash the creative energies of our
entrepreneurs, businessmen, scientists, engineers and all other professionals
and productive forces of society.
UPA makes a solemn pledge to the people of our country: to provide a government
that is corruption-free, transparent and accountable at all times, to provide an
administration that is responsible and responsive at all times.
UPA government will immediately enact a National Employment Guarantee Act. This
will provide a legal guarantee for at least 100 days of employment to begin with
on asset-creating public works programmes every year at minimum wages for at
least one able-bodied person in every rural, urban poor and lower middle-class
household. In the interim, a massive food-for-work programme will be started.
UPA government will establish a National Commission to examine the problems
facing enterprises in the unorganized, informal sector. The Commission will be
asked to make appropriate recommendations to provide technical, marketing and
credit support to these enterprises. A National Fund will be created for this
UPA administration will revamp the functioning of the Khadi and Village
Industries Commission (KVIC) and launch new programmes for the modernization of
coir, handlooms, powerlooms, garments, rubber, cashew, handicrafts, food
processing, sericulture, wool development, leather, pottery and other cottage
UPA government will give the highest investment, credit and technological
priority to the continued growth of agriculture, horticulture, aquaculture,
floriculture, afforestation, dairying and agro-processing that will
significantly add to the creation of new jobs.
with vastly expanding credit facilities for small-scale industry and
self-employment, the UPA government will ensure that the services industry will
be given all support to fulfill its true growth and employment potential. This
includes software and all IT-enabled services, trade, distribution, transport,
telecommunications, finance and tourism.
textile industry will be enabled to meet new challenges imposed by the abolition
of quotas under the international multi-fibre agreement in January 2005. Given
its special ecological importance world-wide and within the country, the jute
industry will receive a fresh impetus in all respects.
UPA government will ensure that public investment in agricultural research and
extension, rural infrastructure and irrigation is stepped up in a significant
manner at the very earliest. Irrigation will receive the highest investment
priority and all on-going projects will be completed according to a strict time
rural cooperative credit system will be nursed back to health. The UPA
government will ensure that the flow of rural credit is doubled in the next
three years and that the coverage of small and marginal farmers by institutional
lending is expanded substantially. The delivery system for rural credit will be
reviewed. Immediate steps will be taken to ease the burden of debt and high
interest rates on farm loans. Crop and livestock insurance schemes will be made
UPA government will introduce a special programme for dryland farming in the
arid and semi-arid regions of the country. Watershed and wasteland development
programmes will be taken up on a massive scale. Water management in all its
aspects, both for irrigation and drinking purposes, will received urgent
UPA administration will ensure the fullest implementation of minimum wage laws
for farm labour. Comprehensive protective legislation will be enacted for all
agricultural workers. Revenue administration will be thoroughly modernized and
clear land titles will be established.
UPA government will bring forward a Constitutional Amendment to ensure the
democratic, autonomous and professional functioning of cooperatives.
that depress the incomes of farmers will be systematically removed. Farmers will
be given greater say in the organizations that supply inputs to them.
UPA government will ensure that adequate protection is provided to all farmers
from imports, particularly when international prices fall sharply.
UPA government will ensure that government agencies entrusted with the
responsibility for procurement and marketing will pay special attention to
farmers in poor and backward states and districts. Farmers all over the country
will receive fair and remunerative prices. The terms of trade will be maintained
in favour of agriculture.
UPA government will take steps to ensure that dues to all farmers including
sugarcane farmers will be cleared at the earliest.
UPA government pledges to raise public spending in education to least 6% of GDP
with at least half this amount being spent of primary and secondary sectors.
This will be done in a phased manner,
UPA government will introduce a cess on all central taxes to finance the
commitment to universalize access to quality basic education. A National
Commission on Education will be set up to allocate resources and monitor
UPA government will take immediate steps to reverse the trend of communalization
of education that had set in the past five years. It will also ensure that all
institutions of higher learning and professional education retain their
autonomy. The UPA will ensure that nobody is denied professional education
because he or she is poor.
excellence and professional competence will be the sole criteria for all
appointments to bodies like the Indian Council for Historical Research, Indian
Council for Social Science Research, University Grants Commission, National
Council for Educational Research and Training, etc. Steps will be taken to
remove the communalization of the school syllabus that has taken place in the
past five years. A review committee of experts will be set up for this purpose.
national cooked nutritious mid-day meal scheme funded mainly by the central
government, will be introduced in primary and secondary schools. An appropriate
mechanism for quality checks will also set up. The UPA will also universalize
the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme to provide a functional
anganwadi in every settlement and ensure full coverage for all children. The UPA
government will fully back and support all NGO efforts in the area of primary
infrastructure will be created in schools for NCC. NSS, physical development,
sports and cultural development of all students.
UPA government will raise public spending on health to at least 2-3% of GDP over
the next five years with focus on primary health care. A national scheme for
health insurance for poor families will be introduced. The UPA will step up
public investment in programmes to control all communicable diseases and also
provide leadership to the national AIDS control effort.
UPA government will take all steps to ensure availability of life-savings drugs
at reasonable prices. Special attention will be paid to the poorer sections in
the matter of health care. The feasibility of reviving public sector units set
up for the manufacture of critical bulk drugs will be re-examined so as to bring
down and keep a check on prices of drugs.
Women and Children
UPA government will take the lead to introduce legislation for one-third
reservations for women in vidhan sabhas and in the Lok Sabha. Legislation on
domestic violence and against gender discrimination will be enacted.
UPA government will ensure that at least one-third of all funds flowing into
panchayats will be earmarked for programmes for the development of women and
children. Village women and their associations will be encouraged to assume
responsibility for all development schemes relating to drinking water,
sanitation, primary education, health and nutrition.
legal equality for women in all spheres will be made a practical reality,
especially by removing discriminatory legislation and by enacting new
legislation that gives women, for instance, equal rights of ownership of assets
like houses and land.
UPA government will bring about a major expansion in schemes for micro-finance
based on self-help groups, particularly in the backward and ecologically fragile
areas of the country.
UPA government is committed to replicating all over the country the success that
some southern and other states have had in family planning. A sharply targeted
population control programme will be launched in the 150-odd high-fertility
districts. The UPA government recognizes that states that achieve success in
family planning cannot be penalized.
UPA government will protect the rights of children, strive for the elimination
of child labour, ensure facilities for schooling and extend special care to the
Food and Nutrition Security
UPA will work out, in the next three months, a comprehensive medium-term
strategy for food and nutrition security. The objective will be to move towards
universal food security over time, if found feasible.
UPA government will strengthen the public distribution system (PDS) particularly
in the poorest and backward blocks of the country and also involve women's and
ex-servicemen's cooperatives in its management. Special schemes to reach
foodgrains to the most destitute and infirm will be launched. Grain banks in
chronically food-scarce areas will be established. Antyodaya cards for all
households at risk of hunger will be introduced.
UPA government will bring about major improvements in the functioning of the
Food Corporation of India (FCI) to control inefficiencies that increase the food
programmes, particularly for the girl child will be expanded on a significant
UPA government will ensure that all funds given to states for implementation of
poverty alleviation and rural development schemes by Panchayats are neither
delayed nor diverted. Monitoring will be strict. In addition, after
consultations with states, the UPA government will consider crediting elected
Panchayats with such funds directly.
of funds will be accompanied by similar devolution of functions and
functionaries as well. Regular elections to panchayat bodies will be ensured and
the amended Act is respect of the Fifth and Sixth Schedule Areas will be
UPA government will ensure that the Gram Sabha is empowered to emerge as the
foundation of panchayati raj.
Scheduled Castes, Scheduled
UPA will urge the states to make legislation for conferring ownership rights in
respect of minor forest produce, including tendu patta, on all those people from
the weaker sections who work in the forests.
reservation quotas, including those relating to promotions, will be fulfilled in
a time-bound manner. To codify all reservations, a Reservation Act will be
UPA government will launch a comprehensive national programme for minor
irrigation of all lands owned by dalits and adivasis. Landless families will be
endowed with land through implementation of land ceiling and land redistribution
legislation. No reversal of ceilings legislation will be permitted.
UPA administration will take all measures to reconcile the objectives of
economic growth and environmental conservation, particularly as far as tribal
communities dependent on forests are concerned.
UPA is concerned with the growth of extremist violence and other forms of
terrorist activity in different states. This is not merely a law-and-order
problem, but a far deeper socio-economic issue which will be addressed more
meaningfully than has been the case so far. False encounters will not be
UPA government will immediately review the overall strategy and programmes for
the development of tribal areas to plug loopholes and to work out more viable
livelihood strategies. In addition, more effective systems of relief and
rehabilitation will be put in place for tribal and other groups displaced by
development projects. Tribal people alienated from land will be rehabilitated.
UPA government is very sensitive to the issue of affirmative action, including
reservations, in the private sector. It will immediately initiate a national
dialogue with all political parties, industry and other organizations to see how
best the private sector can fulfill the aspirations of scheduled caste and
scheduled tribe youth.
of tribal communities and other forest-dwelling communities from forest areas
will be discontinued. Cooperation of these communities will be sought for
protecting forests and for undertaking social afforestation. The rights of
tribal communities over mineral resources, water sources, etc as laid down by
law will be fully safeguarded.
Social Harmony, Welfare of Minorities
UPA is committed to the implementation of the Places of Worship (Special
Provisions) Act, 1992. On Ayodhya, it will await the verdict of the courts,
while encouraging negotiations between parties to the dispute for an amicable
settlement which must, in turn, receive legal sanction.
UPA government will enact a model comprehensive law to deal with communal
violence and encourage each state to adopt that law to generate faith and
confidence in minority communities.
UPA government will amend the Constitution to establish a Commission for
Minority Educational Institutions that will provide direct affiliation for
minority professional institutions to central universities.
UPA will promote modern and technical education among all minority communities.
Social and economic empowerment of minorities through more systematic attention
to education and employment will be a priority concern for the UPA.
UPA will establish a National Commission to see how best the welfare of socially
and economically backward sections among religious and linguistic minorities,
including reservations in education and employment, is enhanced. The Commission
will be given six months to submit its report.
funds will be provided to the National Minorities Development Corporation to
ensure its effective functioning. The UPA government will examine the question
of providing Constitutional status to the Minorities Commission and will also
strive for recognition and promotion of Urdu language under Article 345 and 347
of the Constitution.
National Integration Council will be restructured and revived so as to fulfill
its original objectives. It will meet at least twice a year.
UPA attaches the highest priority to the development and expansion of physical
infrastructure like roads, highways, ports, power, railways, water supply,
sewage treatment and sanitation. Public investment in infrastructure will be
enhanced, even as the role of the private sector is expanded. Subsidies will be
made explicit and provided through the budget.
review of the Electricity Act, 2003 will be undertaken in view of the concern
expressed by a number of states. The mandatory date of June 10, 2004 for
unbundling and replacing the state electricity boards will be extended. The UPA
government also reiterates its commitment to an increased role for private
generation of power and more importantly power distribution.
constitute the core of our infrastructure. Public investment for its
modernization, track renewal and safety will be substantially increased.
Railways reforms will be pursued.
UPA government commits itself to a comprehensive programme of urban renewal and
to a massive expansion of social housing in towns and cities, paying particular
attention to the needs of slum dwellers. Housing for the weaker sections in
rural areas will be expanded on a large scale. Forced eviction and demolition of
slums will be stopped and while undertaking urban renewal, care will be taken to
see that the urban and semi-urban poor are provided housing near their place of
UPA will pay special attention to augmenting and modernizing rural
infrastructure consisting of roads, irrigation, electrification, cold-chain and
marketing outlets. All existing irrigation projects will be completed with three
to four years. Household electrification will be completed in five years.
UPA government will make a comprehensive assessment of the feasibility of
linking the rivers of the country starting with the south-bound rivers. This
assessment will be done in a fully consultative manner. It will also explore the
feasibility of linking sub-basins of rivers in states like Bihar. The UPA will
take all steps to ensure that long-pending inter-state disputes on rivers and
water-sharing like the Cauvery Waters dispute are settled amicably at the
earliest keeping in mind the interests of all parties to the dispute.
put an end to the acute drinking water shortage in cities, especially in
southern states, desalination plants will be installed all along the Coromandel
Coast starting with Chennai. Special problems of habitations in hilly terrains
will be addressed immediately.
drinking water to all sections in urban and rural areas and augmenting
availability of drinking water sources is an issue of the topmost priority.
Harvesting rain water, desilting existing ponds and other innovative mechanisms
will be adopted.
Regional Development, Centre-State Relations
UPA government is committed to redressing growing regional imbalances both among
states as well as within states, through fiscal, administrative, investment and
other means. It is a matter of concern that regional imbalances have been
accentuated by not just historical neglect but also by distortions in Plan
allocations and central government assistance. Even in the Tenth Five Year Plan
, states like Bihar, Assam and UP have received per capita allocations that are
much below the national average. The UPA government will consider the creation
of a Backward States Grant Fund that will be used to create productive assets in
these states. The central government will also take proactive measures to speed
up the industrialization of the eastern and northeastern region.
structured and transparent approach to alleviate the burden of debt on states
will be adopted at the earliest, so as to enable them to increase social sector
investments. Interest rates on loans to states will be reduced and the share of
states in the single, divisible pool of taxes enhanced.
non-statutory resource transfers from the central government will be weighted in
favour of poor and backward states but with performance parameters as well. A
special programme for social and physical infrastructure development in the
poorest and most backward districts of the country will be taken up on a
UPA government will take special measures to ensure that regions of India like
in the east where the credit:deposit ratio is lagging, is improved
UPA government will review the issue of payment of royalties to states in the
area of minerals.
time to time, previous governments have announced special economic packages as,
for example, for the northeast, for Bihar and for J&K. For Bihar, Shri Rajiv
Gandhi had announced a special development package in 1989 and subsequently
another package was announced at the time of its division in 1999 to make up for
the loss of revenue. These packages will be implemented expeditiously.
UPA government will make the National Development Council (NDC) a more effective
instrument of cooperative federalism. The NDC will meet at least twice a year
and in different states. Immediately, the NDC will take up the issue of the
financial health of states and arrive at a national consensus on specific steps
to be taken in this regard. The Inter-State Council will also be activated. All
centrally-sponsored schemes except in national priority areas like family
planning will be transferred to states.
UPA government will consider the demand for the formation of a Telangana state
at an appropriate time after due consultations and consensus.
Sarkaria Commission had last looked at the issue of Centre-State relations over
two decades ago. The UPA government will set up a new Commission for this
purpose keeping in view the sea-changes that have taken place in the polity and
economy of India since then.
schemes in specific states that have national significance, like the Sethu
Samuthuiram project, flood control and drainage in North Bihar (that requires
cooperation with Nepal as well) and Prevention of Erosion in Padma-Ganga and
Bhagirithi flood control in West Bengal will be completed expeditiously. A
Flood-prone Area Development Programme will be started and the central
government will fully support flood control works in inter-state and
international rivers. All existing schemes for drought-prone area development
will be reviewed and a single major national programme launched.
Jammu and Kashmir, Northeast
UPA government is pledged to respecting the letter and spirit of Article 370 of
the Constitution that accords a special status to J&K. Dialogue with all
groups and with different shades of opinion in J&K will be pursued on a
sustained basis, in consultation with the democratically-elected state
government. The healing touch policy pursued by the state government will be
fully supported and an economic and humanitarian thrust provided to it. The
state will be given every assistance to rebuild its infrastructure quickly. New
efforts will be launched to bring investments in areas like power, tourism,
handicrafts and sericulture.
UPA government is determined to tackle terrorism, militancy and insurgency in
the northeast as a matter of urgent national priority. All northeastern states
will be given special assistance to upgrade and expand infrastructure. The
Northeastern Council will be strengthened and given adequate professional
support. The territorial integrity of existing states will be maintained.
UPA will set up an Administrative Reforms Commission to prepare a detailed
blueprint for revamping the public administration system. E-governance will be
promoted on a massive scale. The Right to Information Act will be made more
progressive, participatory and meaningful. The Lok Pal Bill will be enacted into
UPA government will take the leadership role to drastically cut delays in High
Courts and lower levels of the judiciary. Legal aid services will be expanded.
Judicial reforms will be given a fresh momentum.
part of its commitment to electoral reforms, the UPA will initiate steps to
introduce state funding of elections at the earliest.
UPA will take all necessary steps to revive industrial growth and put it on a
robust footing, through a range of policies including deregulation, where
necessary Incentives to boost private investment will be introduced. FDI will
continue to be encouraged and actively sought particularly in areas of
infrastructure, high-technology and exports and where local assets and
employment are created on a significant scale. The country needs and can easily
absorb at least two to three times the present level of FDI inflows. Indian
industry will be given every support to become productive and competitive. All
regulatory institutions will be strengthened to ensure that competition is free
and fair. These institutions will be run professionally.
UPA government will set up a National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council to
provide a continuing forum for policy dialogue to energise and sustain the
growth of manufacturing industry like food processing, textiles and garments,
engineering, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, capital goods, leather, and IT
and artisanal manufacturing will be given greater technological, investment and
marketing support. In the past few years, the most employment-intensive segment
of small-scale industry (SSI) has suffered extensively. A major promotional
package for the SSI sector will be announced soon. It will be freed from the
Inspector Raj and given full credit, technological and marketing support.
Infrastructure upgradation in major industrial clusters will receive urgent
in the financial sector will be expanded. Public sector banks will be given full
managerial autonomy. Interest rates will provide incentives both to investors
and savers, particularly pensioners and senior citizens. The UPA government will
never take decisions on the Employers Provident Fund (EPF) without consultations
with and approval of the EPF Board. Regulation of urban cooperative banks in
particular and of banks in general will be made more effective. LIC and GIC will
continue to be in the public sector and will continue to play their social role.
In addition, the social obligations imposed by regulatory bodies on private
banks and private insurance companies will be monitored and enforced strictly.
UPA government is firmly committed to ensure the welfare and well-being of all
workers, particularly those in the unorganized sector who constitute 93% of our
workforce. Social security, health insurance and other schemes for such workers
like weavers, handloom workers, fishermen and fisherwomen, toddy tappers,
leather workers, plantation labour, beedi workers, etc will be expanded.
UPA rejects the idea of automatic hire and fire. It recognizes that some changes
in labour laws may be required but such changes must fully protect the interests
of workers and families and must take place after full consultation with trade
unions. The UPA will pursue a dialogue with industry and trade unions on this
issue before coming up with specific proposals. However, labour laws other than
the Industrial Disputes Act that create an Inspector Raj will be re-examined and
procedures harmonized and streamlined.
UPA government firmly believes that labour-management relations in our country
must be marked by consultations, cooperation and consensus, not confrontation.
Tripartite consultations with trade unions and industry on all proposals
concerning them will be actively pursued. Rights and benefits earned by workers,
including the right to strike according to law, will not be taken away or
UPA government is committed to a strong and effective public sector whose social
objectives are met by its commercial functioning. But for this, there is need
for selectivity and a strategic focus. The UPA is pledged to devolve full
managerial and commercial autonomy to successful, profit-making companies
operating in a competitive environment. Generally profit-making companies will
not be privatized.
privatizations will be considered on a transparent and consultative case-by-case
basis. The UPA will retain existing "navaratna" companies in the
public sector while these companies raise resources from the capital market.
While every effort will be made to modernize and restructure sick public sector
companies and revive sick industry, chronically loss-making companies will
either be sold-off, or closed, after all workers have got their legitimate dues
and compensation. The UPA will induct private industry to turn-around companies
that have potential for revival.
UPA government believes that privatization should increase competition, not
decrease it. It will not support the emergence of any monopoly that only
restrict competition. It also believes that there must be a direct link between
privatization and social needs---like, for example, the use of privatization
revenues for designated social sector schemes. Public sector companies and
nationalized banks will be encouraged to enter the capital market to raise
resources and offer new investment avenues to retail investors.
UPA government commits itself to eliminating the revenue deficit of the centre
by 2009, so as to release more resources for investments in social and physical
infrastructure. All subsidies will be targeted sharply at the poor and the truly
needy like small and marginal farmers, farm labour and the urban poor. A
detailed roadmap for accomplishing this will be unveiled in Parliament within 90
days. The UPA government will not cut deficits by reducing or curtailing growth
of investment and development outlays.
UPA government is pledged to the early introduction of VAT after all the
necessary technical and administrative homework has been completed, particularly
on issues like the integration of service sector taxation and compensation to
states. It will initiate measures to increase the tax: GDP ratio by undertaking
major tax reforms that expand the base of taxpayers, increase tax compliance and
make the tax administration more efficient. Tax rates will be stable and
conducive to growth, compliance and investment. Special schemes to unearth black
money and assets will be introduced.
UPA government will take effective and strong measures to control the price hike
of essential commodities. Provisions to deal with speculators, hoarders and
black- marketeers under the Essential Commodities Act will not be diluted in any
UPA government is deeply committed, through tax and other policies, to the
orderly development and functioning of capital markets that reflect the true
fundamentals of the economy. Financial markets will be deepened. FIIs will
continue to be encouraged while the vulnerability of the financial system to the
flow of speculative capital will be reduced. Misuse of double taxation
agreements will be stopped. Interests of small investors will be protected and
they will be given new avenues for safe investment of their savings. SEBI will
be further strengthened. Strictest action will be taken against market
manipulators and those who try to deliberately engineer market panic.
UPA reiterates its abiding commitment to economic reforms with a human face,
that stimulates growth, investment and employment. Further reforms are needed
and will be carried out in agriculture, industry and services. The UPA's
economic reforms will be oriented primarily to spreading and deepening rural
prosperity, to significantly improving the quality of public systems and
delivery of public services, to bringing about a visible and tangible difference
in the quality of life of ordinary citizens of our country.
Defence, Internal Security
UPA government will ensure that all delays in the modernization of the armed
forces are eliminated and that all funds earmarked for modernization are spent
fully at the earliest.
UPA will set up a new Department of Ex-Servicemens' Welfare in the Ministry of
Defence. The long pending issue of one-rank, one-pension will be re-examined.
UPA government will make the National Security Council a professional and
UPA government is committed to maintaining a credible nuclear weapons programme
while at the same time it will evolve demonstrable and verifiable
confidence-building measures with its nuclear neighbours. It will take a
leadership role in promoting universal, nuclear disarmament and working for a
nuclear weapons-free world.
UPA has been concerned with the manner in which POTA has been grossly misused in
the past two years. There will be no compromise in the fight against terrorism.
But given the abuse of POTA that has taken place, the UPA government will repeal
it, while existing laws are enforced strictly.
UPA government will take the strictest possible action, without fear or favour,
against all those individuals and organizations who spread social discord,
disturb social amity, propagate religious bigotry and communal hatred. The law
of the land will be enforced effectively.
Science and Technology
UPA government will follow policies and introduce programmes that strengthen
India's vast science and technology infrastructure. Science and technology
development and application missions will be launched in key areas, covering
both global leadership and local transformation. The UPA government will
mobilize the skills and expertise of Indian scientists, technologists and other
professionals working abroad for institution-building and other projects in the
UPA government will immediately put in place policies to enhance the country's
energy security particularly in the area of oil. Overseas investments in the
hydrocarbon industry will be actively encouraged. An integrated energy policy
linked with sustainable development will be put in place.
Foreign Policy, International Organisations
UPA government will pursue an independent foreign policy keeping in mind its
past traditions. This policy will seek to promote multi-polarity in world
relations and oppose all attempts at unilateralism.
UPA government will give the highest priority to building closer political,
economic and other ties with its neighbours in South Asia and to strengthening
SAARC. Particular attention will be paid to regional projects in the area of
water resources, power and ecological conservation. Dialogue with Pakistan on
all issues will be pursued systematically and on a sustained basis. The UPA will
support peace talks in Sri Lanka that fulfill the legitimate aspirations of
Tamils and religious minorities within the territorial integrity and solidarity
of Sri Lanka. Outstanding issues with Bangladesh will be resolved. Intensive
dialogue will be initiate with Nepal for developing water resources to mutual
and investment with China will be expanded further and talks on the border issue
pursued seriously. Relationships with East Asian countries will be intensified.
Traditional ties with West Asia will be given a fresh thrust. The UPA government
reiterates India's decades-old commitment to the cause of the Palestinian people
for a homeland of their own. Steps will be taken to withdraw Indian mercenaries
from Iraq while further recruitment for this purpose will be banned.
as it pursues closer engagement and relations with the USA, the UPA government
will maintain the independence of India's foreign policy position on all
regional and global issues. The UPA is committed to deepening ties with Russia
and Europe as well.
keeping with the stance adopted by the late Shri Murasoli Maran at Doha, the UPA
government will fully protect the national interest, particularly of farmers, in
all WTO negotiations. Commitments made earlier will be adhered to, even as
efforts are mounted to ensure that all agreements reflect our concerns fully
particularly in the area of intellectual property and agriculture. The UPA
government will use the flexibility afforded in existing WTO agreements to fully
protect Indian agriculture and industry. The UPA government will play a
proactive role in strengthening the emerging solidarity of developing countries
in the shape of G-20 in the WTO.
UPA government will set up a committee to examine the question of declaring all
languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution as official languages. In
addition, Tamil will be declared as a classical language.
A Final Word
is a common minimum programme (CMP) for the UPA government. It is, by no means,
a comprehensive agenda. It is a starting point that highlights the main
priorities, policies and programmes. The UPA is committed to the implementation
of the CMP. This CMP is the foundation for another CMP-collective maximum