Fruits of growing Indian economy not being enjoyed by all: Mukherjee

April 8th, 2011 - 6:52 pm ICT by ANI  

Pranab Mukherjee New Delhi, Apr. 8 (ANI): The fruits of growing prosperity of the economy are not being enjoyed equally by all citizens owing to gaps in our development efforts and governance practices, said Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee at the inaugural session of the CII National Conference and Annual Session 2011 here today.

The theme of the CII conference this year is “Securing the Future: Framework for Inclusive Growth”.

He said that the objective of economic development, the reforms for sustaining high growth and ensuring that growth is inclusive should go hand in hand. However, structural factors like poverty, illiteracy, deprivation, lack of adequate connectivity have segmented our markets and people. Our notion of inclusive growth also needs to be much broader than merely poverty alleviation. It should include the equality of opportunity for a productive and meaningful life with freedom and dignity, said Mukherjee.

Emphasizing the role of skill development in addressing the objective of inclusive growth, Mukherjee appreciated the leadership CII has provided to National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). He however called upon CII to take further lead in meeting the NSDC target of creating 150 million skilled persons and setting up at least 10-15 sectors specific Skill Councils including in manufacturing, healthcare and mining.

Mentioning the government efforts to promote inclusive growth, the Finance Minister spoke of several initiatives including the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, Sarva Siksha Abhiyan and Bharat Nirman. He also mentioned his efforts at spreading the green revolution to the eastern states and its positive impact on inclusive growth that is already apparent.

Mukherjee also gave away CII’s esteemed Presidents’ Award to distinguished personalities, who have contributed immensely to CII’s leadership. The awards were given to Mr. Suresh Prabhu, Chairman of Council on Energy, Environment and Water, Mr. R. C. Bhargava, Chairman of Maruti Suzuki Ltd, Mr. T. S. Vijayan, the Chairman of CII National Committee on Insurance and Pension, Mr. Uday Kotak, Chairman of CII National Committee on Capital Markets, Mr Arun Nanda, Chairman of CII Western Region and Mr. R M Khanna, Chairman of CII Northern Region and Ms Bhairavi Jani, immediate past President of Young Indians.

Mukherjee also launched “Skillpedia” - an online platform to create awareness on the importance of certification of skills by recognized assessment agencies for the benefit of the employer and the job seeker - an effort of CII to complement the Government of India’s goal of creating a skilled workforce of 500 million by 2022. This platform was developed in consultation with the NSDC and was handed over to NSDC post its launch.

In his welcome address the outgoing President Mr. Hari S Bhartia enumerated several measures that CII has taken in recent years to promote inclusive growth. He said that CII has been working extensively on promoting inclusive growth by working on four critical drivers: education, employability, entrepreneurship and innovation. CII has also set up the first Skill Centre at Chhindwara and proposes to launch eleven more such Centers shortly with the target of one skill centre in each state.

Bhartia also underlined that the intent to achieve inclusive growth is being challenged by certain developments in the economy. Emerging supply-side constraints in agriculture is one such challenge which has eventually been feeding to overall inflation, affecting the poorest. It is also forcing our Central Bank to tighten monetary policy, resulting in slower growth in investments, industrial output and employment. He called upon the government to address the supply shortages in agriculture by initiating measures such as developing infrastructure, improving business climate and enhancing financial intermediation.

The CII President mentioned that the country faces the challenge of providing livelihood to 17-20 million people each year. Creation of more jobs is, therefore, the corporate social responsibility of business if we have to leverage the demographic dividend. He also suggested the government set up a control room for identifying and implementing 100 high-impact projects on the lines of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor and the Dedicated Freight Corridors all across the country to promote jobs and development across regions.

In his closing remarks, the President designate CII, Mr. Muthuraman observed that the battle of inclusive growth has to be fought jointly by the government, industry, civil society and people. (ANI)

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