India will sustain high growth with low inflation: Patil

February 25th, 2008 - 3:56 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pratibha Patil

New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) With inclusive growth as the core strategy, India will sustain the high economic expansion seen since 2004 while keeping inflation in check, President Pratibha Patil told parliament Monday. “It will continue to be the endeavour of my government to sustain growth while keeping prices under check,” Patil told the lawmakers of both houses inside the majestic Central Hall, as she formally inaugurated the budget session.

“This performance is all the more creditable against the background of the high international oil prices and rising commodity prices, including for food,” she said and went on to list the government’s priorities and past achievements.

In what was also meant to be a peek into the broader policy trust of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Patil said the nine percent growth for four years in a row was unprecedented for India.

“I am confident that creativity, enterprise and hard work of our young people will be able to sustain these high rates in the years to come,” the president said in the speech that covered a range of topics, with focus on the poor.

The speech, which came a few days before the national budget to be presented Feb 29, said the present government had stepped up allocations in several areas such as agriculture, education, health and rural development like never before.

“This is a structural shift in plan priorities aimed at reducing disparities and empowering people,” she said, adding that proactive measures would address issues like agriculture indebtedness and bring financially excluded people into the banking system.

The president also spoke of the measures taken in areas like rural development, urban renewal, sprucing up infrastructure, power generation, energy security, national highways development, railways and civil aviation.

“India is on the move. There is an air of optimism among youth and expectation among less-privileged sections of the society. The challenge before us is to sustain the development process in the face of external and internal threats.”

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