Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday defended the economic reforms, including the decision to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, saying, “Reform is not a one-off process, it is a continuous process.”
In an informal interaction with journalists at Rashtrapati Bhavan soon after the swearing-in of the new Chief Justice of India, Altamas Kabir, the Dr. Singh was responding to questions on demands by the Opposition for a rollback of the decisions on FDI in multi-brand retail, diesel price hike and cap on subsidised LPG cylinders.
Asked about allegations by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi that FDI was aimed at pleasing the U.S. , he said: “What has the U.S. got to do with this? We are an independent country not to be dictated by other countries.”
On United Progressive Alliance allies’ apprehensions that the government’s recent decisions could hurt their electoral prospects, he said the issue could be discussed. “We will do what is good for the country. We are far away from elections.”
To a query on attacks on him by Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee, who has snapped her party’s ties with the Congress, he said: “I am not bitter about anything.”
On the Supreme Court's opinion that auction is not the sole method of allocating natural resources, he said: “We will honour and respect the judgment. We welcome it.”
About the Kelkar Committee report on fiscal reforms, he said, “It has been put on the website.”