Policy

Economy is more resilient despite adverse external environment: Pranab

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on August 14, 2012

Strong message: President Pranab Mukherjee addressing the nation on the eve of the 66th Independence Day, in New Delhi on Tuesday. — PTI   -  Business Lline

Anger against corruption is legitimate but protests an assault on democratic institutions

Two decades of steady economic reforms had contributed to improvement in average income and consumption levels in both rural and urban areas, said President Pranab Mukherjee.

In his first address to the nation on the eve of the Independence Day, Mukherjee said notwithstanding the tremendous pressure of an adverse external environment, the country’s economy is more resilient and confident.

He said between 1900 and 1947 India’s economic growth was an annual average of 1 per cent.

“From such depths we climbed, first, to 3 per cent growth, and then took a quantum leap forward: today, despite two great international crises that rocked the world and some domestic dips, we have posted an average growth rate of more than 8 per cent over the last seven years,” the President said. “If our economy has achieved critical mass, then it must become a launching pad for the next leap. We need a second freedom struggle; this time to ensure that India is free for ever from hunger, disease and poverty,” he added.

He said inflation, particularly high food prices, remains a cause of worry and several gaps are yet to be bridged in this growth story, including in the areas of infrastructure and agriculture.

“Green revolution has to be extended to the Eastern region of our country. Creation of high quality infrastructure has to be fast-tracked. Education and health services have to reach the last man at the earliest,” he added.

With the monsoon playing truant this year, he said the nation must stand by the farmers in their distress.

Corruption pandemic

On the agitations against corruption, the President said anger against the “bitter pandemic of corruption” was legitimate, as was the protest against this plague that was eroding the capability and potential of our nation. “There are times when people lose their patience but it cannot become an excuse for an assault on our democratic institutions,” he warned.

>jigeesh.am@thehindu.co.in

Published on August 14, 2012

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