Gandhian economics needed to overcome financial crisis: Pranab


New Delhi : The government will initiate more measures to support labour intensive sectors with focus on Gandhian economics even as the Indian economy is set to grow by 7 percent this fiscal, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said Friday.

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“When necessary, the government will take further steps to ensure that labour intensive sectors are less adversely affected,” Mukherjee, who also holds the finance portfolio, told a seminar organised by a leading think tank here.

“After an average 9 percent growth in the last five years, we expect the economy to grow at 7 percent in the current fiscal despite global economic downturn,” he told the silver jubilee conference of Research and Information Systems(RIS).

“The current circumstances make it imperative for the developing countries to enhance regional cooperation to mitigate the adverse impact of this crisis. We have the capability to do so and we need to be creative in our cooperation.”

Speaking to reporters later on the margins of the conference, Mukherjee said it was not decided yet as to when some of the measures will be announced. “You will have to wait till I present the budget,” he said.

The interim budget is due Feb 16 and Home Minister P. Chidambaram, the finance minister till a couple of months ago, had Thursday said the government would be within its rights to announce new measures in it, despite the ensuing national elections.

Mukherjee said global financial institutions needed to put more resources into developing nations, specially in rural areas, skill development, infrastructure and to strengthen local communities.

“To me, there is a necessity, once again, to revisit Gandhian economics with its emphasis on rural self-help and sustainable economic development. Anything contrary would be disastrous,” he said.

“It should be a veritable Marshal Plan for the economic uplift of the poorest sections of societies world-wide.”