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Rural, core sector hold key to growth: Assocham

Neha Kaushik

Mr M.K. Sanghi, Assocham President

New Delhi , March 15

LONG-TERM growth in the economy can only be brought about through the development of the rural and infrastructure sectors.

This sentiment was echoed by the newly elected President of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham), Mr M.K. Sanghi (Chairman of Sanghi Organisation Vitesse Ltd), who said that Assocham would be giving a thrust to the subject of rural development this year.

"Our rural economy is awaiting a fuller exploitation of its enormous potential. There is in fact a growing feeling that India has not been able to utilise all the natural advantages, and explore the full potential of the agricultural and rural sector," Mr Sanghi said.

He added that the trigger mechanism for the recovery in the economy this fiscal has been made possible thanks to a major turnaround in agricultural performance. "The wide-spread `feel-good' factor and the concept of a `shining India' has been made possible by a record performance in the agricultural sector. If this momentum for a `feel good' factor has to be sustained, a solid foundation for improvements in the agricultural sector will have to be initiated," he said.

Drawing an example from the development seen in the Chinese economy, Mr Sanghi said that in the first 10-12 years of the commencement of development in China, the country's agricultural sector was able to score an annual growth rate of 5 per cent. This stimulated China's overall economic growth of 8-9 per cent per annum, over the past quarter century. "Therefore, enhancing the purchasing power of rural India, through an expansion of employment opportunities, is the real key for achieving `rural resurgence'," Mr Sanghi said.

This would also eventually put lesser pressure of migration from rural areas to bigger cities. Assocham would also concentrate on environmental issues this year.

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