UPA govt’s decisions for long-term eco benefits: FM

Coimbatore: Reiterating UPA government's commitment to reforms, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said all decisions are taken for long-term economic benefits to make India a major world force and "not for petty electoral gains or creation of vote banks."

"The UPA Government has evolved schemes, not for three or four years, but 15 to 20 years, to enable the nation bear the fruits of reforms and make it a major force in the world. All decisions are being taken not for petty electoral gains or to create vote banks," he said at a function here.

The minister likened opposition to UPA's reforms from various quarters to that faced by the fathers of the green revolution and white revolution, the late C Subramanian and V Kurien when they implemented far-sighted schemes.

Subramanian had faced stiff opposition when he initiated the green revolution and implemented mid-day meal scheme introduced by the late Kamaraj, he said.

He said a nation where several states had seen terrible famine and received free wheat and milk from USA to feed its people till 1970, has become surplus in both and now exports foodgrains and milk products. "In fact, overproduction had resulted in lack of adequate storage facilities," he said.

The minister was speaking after unveiling a lifesize statue of Subramaniam here. He claimed the mid day meal scheme introduced by Congress half a decade ago had benefitted nearly 13 crore children across the country and said it has been described by the UN as the world's largest feeding programme.

Government wanted to ensure the dream of AICC President Sonia Gandhi for food to all citizens become a reality and the Food Security Act would become fructify soon, he said.