President Pranab Mukherjee Monday emphasised the importance of high economic growth for poverty reduction, saying it has paid rich dividends in the last two decades by lifting one billion people across the world from penury.
At the same time, he stressed that a rural growth strategy has become necessary to make a decisive impact on poverty and to trigger a development process that combines growth with equity.
“Studies indicate that two-thirds of poverty reduction is facilitated by growth while the remaining one-third is contributed by the degree of equality in the growth process. The centrality of high economic growth for developing economies therefore needs no emphasis,” the President said.
He was addressing the Nineteenth Regular Meeting of the Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) Governing Council.
In the Asia Pacific region, rural development and poverty alleviation have become synonymous with national development, he said, adding that a rural growth strategy has become necessary to make a decisive impact on poverty and to trigger a development process that combines growth with equity.
Despite being one of the fastest growing regions in the world, Asia-Pacific region is still beset with poverty and backwardness, he rued.
“Our policies have to ensure people’s participation at various stages of programme formulation and implementation, transparency in the operation of schemes and careful monitoring,” he said.
Good governance practices and women empowerment measures are required to make local bodies like Panchayati Raj Institutions viable instruments of rural transformation, he said.
Mukherjee mentioned National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and National Rural Livelihood Mission as he dwelt on legislation and programmed started in the country to give focused attention on “rural rejuvenation”.
“By enacting the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in 2005, a landmark initiative has been taken to confer legal right for 100 days of employment in a year to every rural household demanding work,” he told delegates drawn from various countries in the region.