Growth without equity is meaningless: Prime Minister


New Delhi : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Wednesday the Indian economy would grow at 8.25 percent in the current fiscal, but this will have little meaning unless there is equitable growth.

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“Our medium term target is to return the economy to an annual growth rate of 9 percent. Inclusive growth is the centrepiece of our developmental agenda. Rapid growth will have little meaning, however, unless social and economic inequalities, which still afflict our society, are eliminated quickly and effectively,” he said in his address at the Civil Services Day function here.

The prime minister said the growth rate for 2009-10 is now estimated at 7.2 percent and the forecast for 2010-11 is 8.25 percent.

“The problems and challenges that we face today are not only very different from those which we encountered soon after Independence but are also increasingly complex. Our population has grown manifold, as has the size of our economy. Our country is getting increasingly urbanized.”

“Globalization and a more inter-connected and inter-dependent world in which we live in bring both new opportunities and new challenges,” he said, adding that the civil services have “a major role to play in helping government fashion a suitable and adequate response to all these issues”.

He said the government has an array of programmes for employment and income generation, for education and health, for building infrastructure and improving food security through an efficient public distribution system.