Sustainable growth UPA’s big challenge

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: May 23, 2011 02:44 IST

The UPA government's report to people termed sustained economic growth while keeping inflation as a big challenge even as the government declared it will aim for more inclusive growth.

PM Manmohan Singh said his government's most immediate challenge was to sustain the growth process, while keeping inflation under check. There are four dimensions to sustainable economic growth: fiscal, social, ecological and political, he said.

Listing the fiscal challenge as immediate, Singh said, “In response to the global economic slowdown we undertook a massive fiscal stimulus programme that helped maintain reasonable growth.”

The annual report card presented by Singh also sought more investments from the private sector to improve infrastructure to meet the demand of growing economy while outlining the achievements in road and port development.

The report highlighted the strides made by the government in social sector by providing midday meal to over 11 crore children, reducing school drop out rate by half, improving per capita income, doubling per capita vegetable and fruit availability and running special schemes for the deprived sections.

Admitting there is a development deficit in areas affected by Left-wing extremism, Singh said his government is determined to address the deficit, while maintaining the menace remains a “major problem.”

The government has already initiated Intergrated Action Plan for Naxal-hit areas and over 4,900 kms of new roads will be developed.

The government outlined its achievements of tackling poverty with the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme and reducing maternal and infant mortality rates through Janani Suraksha Yojana — a Centrally-sponsored scheme .

The report said the it has provided village public telephones in most of the villages in the country and it has also provided broadband connection to more than 97,500 villages under its target of connecting 2.5 lakh village panchayats by 2012.

To enhance broadband connectivity in villages, the government said the Universal Service Obligation Fund proposes to launch a 'Wireless Broadband Scheme', which will cover about five lakh villages.

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