New Delhi, Mar 23: Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Saturday said the Congress-led UPA Government is steadily working towards new economic reforms.
Addressing the inaugural session of the National Editors’ Conference here, Chidambaram said there is a need to create more high productivity jobs and enhance skills of the labour force.
Chidambaram said rapid economic growth is one of the important objectives in an emerging economy like India.
” Economic growth though important cannot be the only end. It is in fact a means to an end. It allows us to generate the resources to achieve more equitable development and the wider distribution of the opportunities that development offers so as to obtain higher standards of living for the masses. Equally important is the need for effective bridging of regional, social and economic disparities and empowerment of the poor and the marginalised, especially women, to make the entire development process more inclusive,” said Chidambaram.
“The 12th Five Year Plan has the subtitle, faster more inclusive and sustainable growth ; it puts the growth debate in the right perspective. The government’s targeted policies for the poor with fewer leakages can help in translating higher outlays into better outcomes,” he added.
Chidambaram said India has the opportunity to grow at a brisk rate for many more years, in fact for many decades.
“India is on the brink of a demographic transition with the proportion of the working age population between 15 and 59 years likely to add approximately 63 million new entrants to the working age group between 2011 and 2016, the bulk of whom will be in the relatively younger and productive age group of 20 to 35 years,” he said.
Chidambaram further said ‘given that India is one of the youngest among the large countries of the world, human development assumes great economic significance for it as demographic dividend can be reached only if this young population is healthy, educated and skilled’.
“India’s productivity and incomes are low, but this again can be a source of opportunity. By giving our people the right skills, tools and the right jobs, we can increase the value that they add for many years to come,” he added.
The Finance Minister also expressed confidence that Food Security Bill will be passed soon by Parliament, perhaps in the Budget session itself.
“I am confident it (Food Security Bill) will be passed soon by Parliament, possibly in the Budget Session itself,” he said.
Chidambaram also urged the media to play a leading and inspiring role in orientation of the youth.
The two day National Editors’ Conference on Social and Infrastructure issues being organised by the Press Information Bureau (PIB) will deliberate on crucial policy decisions, success stories and achievements of the government.
The various sessions during the two-day conference will be addressed by ministers and key officials representing the core social and infrastructure ministries of the Government.
Union Ministers of Rural Development, Communications and IT, Women and Child Development, Minority Affairs, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation will address the various sessions of the Conference. Senior officials from Railway Board and Ministry of Labour and Employment and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting are also expected to address the conference.
The conference will be attended by leading representatives of the regional press comprising of Senior Editors and Chiefs of Bureaus along with local beat correspondents covering the sessions being addressed by concerned ministries.
The interaction is expected to provide a platform to the media representatives to understand the implementation of crucial policy decisions in the social and infrastructure sector. It will also provide an opportunity for the various ministries to understand the limitations / gaps from a media perspective on the implementation of schemes and programmes. About 70 editors / journalists are attending the conference.
The two-day deliberations are part of PIB’s effort for enhancing information dissemination at the regional level as an outreach strategy. The focus will be on development issues that has promoted inclusive growth across the country. The Conference is a continuation of PIB’s endeavor of organizing the national deliberations as an annual event on the social and infrastructure sector.
Over the last few years, the Press Information Bureau has organized the conference on similar lines at Aizwal, Srinagar, Guwahati and Puducherry. (ANI)