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HindustanTimes Fri,25 Apr 2014

Growth, social welfare go hand in hand: Rahul

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 21, 2013
First Published: 17:10 IST(21/12/2013) | Last Updated: 09:26 IST(22/12/2013)

India cannot afford to hold back business because of slow decision-making, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said at a Ficci conference on Saturday.

“Many projects are stuck because of good reasons but some are held back because of no good reasons at all,” he said while addressing the conference.

He also said India needed growth to fight poverty. “Wealth cannot be constructed on poverty. We need to generate 100 million jobs in the next 10 years (to address labour force problems)… Beating inflation is our top priority,” Gandhi said.

“Complete arbitrary power at all levels is the real problem,” he said while also stressing that politics of the country was changing. “There is increased transparency”.

Gandhi, who is speculated to be named the Congress’ prime ministerial nominee soon, however, said corruption remained the biggest enemy to the growth of the nation.

New Delhi: Congress vice President Rahul Gandhi addressing at 86th Annual General Meeting of FICCI in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)

“The biggest issue today is corruption. It is bleeding the nation dry. Amendment to Prevention of Corruption Act and Grievance Redressal Bill will be massive steps against corruption,” he said.

The Congress vice-president said the country had the brightest youngsters, but education system didn’t do them justice. “We need to re-invent our thinking about education. Single biggest problem regarding education is access… modern technology has huge potential to (increase the access to education)”

Largely seen as the driving force behind his party’s campaign for the Lok Sabha elections in 2014, Gandhi also talked about governance. “A political party is about the people it represents. We will listen to those voices… We have ensured convicted MPs are kept out of Parliament.”

He also touched the lighter vein in the audience as he made a lighthearted reference to the recent controversy over an ordinance on convicted lawmakers. “I learnt a lesson that it is not polite to ask for an ordinance to be torn up and thrown away,” he said as the conference hall burst into laughter.

He also quipped that good news from the government didn’t seem to sell newspapers in the country.

Read full text of Rahul's speech
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