Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister Manmohan SinghReuters

The Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, has asked the nation, on the eve of the New Year, to live "healthier" and more "honest" lives. In a statement released by the Prime Minister's Office on Friday, he said: "I wish you all a peaceful, productive and secure New Year." 

The statement also read: "New Year's Day is a day of resolutions. Each of us makes our own resolutions - to live a healthier life, to live a more honest life, to live a better life and to live a happier life. I sincerely hope in the New Year we can all work together with a new resolve: to make our homes and neighbourhood, our village or town, and our nation a better place to live in."

The Prime Minister acknowledged that 2011 was a very difficult year, both for the country and the world, with economic crises, socio-economic tensions and political upheavals in several developing and developed countries casting their shadow on 2011.

Singh added: "We in India have had our share of problems. The Indian economy slowed down and inflation edged up. Concern about corruption moved to the centre stage. We must not be too downcast at these events. All countries and economies go through cycles. We must remember that downturns are followed by upturns. Indeed, they are often a test of our ability to respond to new challenges."

On a concluding note, the Prime Minister's statement read: "I want to assure you all on this New Year's day that I personally will work to provide an honest and more efficient government, a more productive, competitive and robust economy and a more equitable and just social and political order".

Meanwhile, in her message to the nation, the President of India, Pratibha Patil, said: "I extend my greetings and best wishes to all my fellow citizens for a happy and prosperous New Year... may the coming year bring happiness to the nation and let us resolve to work with all dedication and a sense of pride in whatever activities we undertake".

Finally, the Vice-President of India, M. Hamid Ansari, said: "(The) New Year dawns with renewed hope of pledging ourselves towards working with dedication for progress of our country".