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GDP growth not true picture of economy, says Kalam

business Updated: Jun 23, 2007 18:01 IST
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Not the one to be easily impressed by GDP growth figures, President APJ Abdul Kalam on Saturday said prosperity of people living in urban and rural areas should be measured to know the country's true economic health.

"Measurement of GDP alone should not be taken as an indicator of economic development and I have suggested a National Prosperity Index (NPI)" for gauging the true strength of the economy, he said during an interaction with PTI journalists in New Delhi.

NPI is a combination of GDP, reduction of people living Below Poverty Line (BPL) and the social values derived from age-old institution of the joint family system, he said to a question on GDP growing by over nine per cent now.

Asked whether he felt fruits of economic growth had percolated to the poorest sections of the society, the President said the benefit of the GDP growth can be taken to the masses by implementing his pet project - PURA (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas).

Kalam said he would be working on the PURA project even after demitting office. "Why can't the amenities enjoyed by the urban people be extended to the rural areas?" he asked.

He asked the media to play a pro-active role in the development of the farm sector, the lifeline of over 600 million Indians living in rural areas.