Concerned over the plight of 220 million people living below poverty line, President APJ Abdul Kalam on Friday suggested increasing of overall GDP growth rate to 10 per cent and maintaining it for a decade.
"If we have to uplift the 220 million people living below the poverty level and provide them with improved quality of life, we have to ensure that the overall GDP growth rate has to be increased to 10 per cent from the existing eight per cent and then maintain it for a decade," he said.
Kalam was inaugurating the Inter-Ministerial Summit of the Afro-Asian Rural Development Organisation (AARDO) in New Delhi.
Expressing satisfaction over the country witnessing an "ascending economic trajectory", he said the "Indian economy is growing with an average annual GDP growth rate of eight per cent. Very soon, we will be reaching the target of 10 per cent GDP growth rate."
The president said employment generation, particularly in rural areas, was very essential for this. That is what PURA - Providing Urban amenities in Rural Areas - programme envisaged for providing physical, electronic and economic connectivity, he said.
Kalam asked the delegates from 14 countries to study the applicability of PURA to their nations and consider implementing it. Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said AARDO promoted cooperation among member countries in the field of agriculture and rural development.
AARDO Secretary General Abdalla Yahia Adam said the new economic order linked closely the future of the poor and developing countries with free trade.