The country's overall GDP has to be raised to 10 per cent from eight per cent now to uplift 220 million people living below poverty, President APJ Abdul Kalam on Friday said.
"If we have to uplift the 220 million people living below poverty and provide improved quality of life, we have to ensure that the overall GDP has to be increased to 10 per cent from the existing eight per cent and maintained for a decade," he said.
The President was addressing the First Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference in New Delhi on Housing and Human Settlements.
He said there was a need to lift up the economic conditions and lifestyle of over 220 million people out of the one billion plus population as a large part of the growth comes from manufacturing and services sector.
"For this, employment generation, particularly in the rural areas, is very essential. This necessitates the spread of development process to the rural sector," he said.
Kalam said 'Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA)' programme could be a vehicle of sustainable development. The aim is to make sustainable development using the core competence of the rural sector, he explained.