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Learning English - Words in the News
28 May, 2004 - Published 13:17 GMT
India moves away from privatisation
Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh

India's new Congress-led government has announced its economic strategy. The strategy seems to aim for both healthy economic growth and development for India's rural poor. This report from Jill McGivering:

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The main thrust of the new government's thinking wasn't a secret so there's little here that will cause shock waves. It's an even-handed approach - trying to encourage foreign investment and a thriving private sector. But also promising greater investment in social policies, particularly education and a safeguarding of workers' rights. These are gestures of support for the millions of rural poor who feel excluded from the economic boom. It promises continuing high growth rates and further reform of India's considerable red tape. But it says it won't privatise profit making state-run companies, like government banks and oil companies.

Congress is heading a broad coalition with disparate views. It needed a compromise - a plan that would reassure the business community that it certainly isn't abandoning economic reform even if the pace is slower. But at the same time, it's trying to please the bloc of leftist parties, calling for much more to be done to support the poor.

Jill McGivering, BBC

Listen to the words

main thrust
main idea

shock waves
very strong reactions

even-handed approach
an even-handed approach is fair to everyone

if something is thriving it is strong and healthy


economic boom
dramatic growth in the economy

red tape
unecessary bureaucracy: rules and procedures that slow business down

state-run companies
companies owned by the state

very varied, very different


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