Reforms an ongoing process, says PM

Prime Minister Manmohan SinghPrime Minister Manmohan Singh today said that there is no question of rolling back the recently announced reform measures, and that he would continue a dialogue with allies on the issue.

The Prime Minister also said that the decision to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail had nothing to do with the US. "What has America got to do with reforms in India?" he asked, stressing that India is an independent country and can't be dictated to by others.

Speaking to the media after the swearing-in of justice Altamas Kabir as the new Chief Justice of India following the retirement of justice S H Kapadia, he said the reforms were not a one-off step but an ongoing process.

The Prime Minister said the government honours Supreme Court opinion on Presidential reference on allocation of natural resources. The apex court had opined that auction cannot be the only route to allocate such resources, and the government may choose other means depending on the national good.

Asked about the withdrawal of Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress from the United Progressive Alliance government over the reform measures, Singh said that he was not bitter about it.

He also ruled out early elections, saying that they are far away. The withdrawal of support by the TMC has reduced the government to a minority, but it has sufficient numbers in Parliament with the support of smaller regional parties.