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Undeterred by Mamata, UPA govt to push ahead with key reforms

The UPA has decided to push ahead with key reforms peppered with lot of 'common man' schemes to dent West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's frontal assault. The next Cabinet meetings will unveil many more reform measures.

S.P.S. Pannu/Kartikeya Sharma | September 20, 2012 | Updated 10:16 IST

An emboldened government's appetite for reforms is enlarging with each passing day. Finance minister P. Chidambaram outlined in his media interface on Monday that in the run-up to October 30 many more initiatives will be rolled out.

The next Cabinet meetings will unveil many more reform measures . Friday's Cabinet meeting will announce an additional seven-per cent hike in dearness allowance.

On Tuesday, law minister Salman Khurshid added more ballast by saying that reforms are a national priority and many more are on way. Whatever requires parliamentary approval like pension and insurance reforms will have to wait, but wherever executive decision making can expedite matters, it will be done.

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On power sector debt restructuring, the discom bailout is likely to be linked to the states' commitment on tariffs. It is believed that legally binding tariff provisions are part of the Cabinet note. Parallelly, the broad strokes for rolling out the much-delayed direct taxes code (DTC) to change antiquated income tax laws in order to enlarge the exemption limit for individuals from Rs 2 lakh per annum is being worked out. Undeterred by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee 's assault, the UPA has decided to push ahead with key reforms peppered with lot of 'common man' schemes to dent Didi's frontal assault. Coupled with it is the dawn of a new reality that UPA will have to live without Mamata which has led to a clamour for the portfolios held by her party Trinamool Congress (TMC) now.

Highly placed sources in the Congress confirmed to Mail Today that Gulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday in a meeting of group of ministers openly said the party must wrest back the railway portfolio from its allies. It is significant as TMC ministers have not even put in their papers yet but the quest for the coveted portfolio has started.

On the 'common man' front, the UPA has decided to unleash popular polices coupled with hardcore reforms. Sources in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) confirmed that contours of the National Health Mission have been finalised with components from National Rural Health Mission and National Urban Health Mission and would soon be introduced.

On the reform front, a senior Cabinet minister confirmed that the Centre is not going to shy away from the issue of foreign direct investment in the insurance and pension sectors and will soon act.

Courtesy: Mail Today 

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