President delivers speech to parliament
President Pratibha Patil delivered her address to a joint meeting of parliament today prior to this week’s budget debate scheduled to start tomorrow.
In her speech the president said that the goabl economy had been a challenge for the country but that the economy remained strong and that her government would soon steer the country back to high growth of 8% to 9%.
In her speech, the full text of which will be available on the india country page under Links later today, she said that “The year 2012-13 will mark the first year of the 12th Five Year Plan that sets the goal of ‘faster, sustainable and more inclusive growth’. The Approach Paper sets a target growth rate of 9 per cent for the 12th Plan period with 4 per cent growth for the agriculture sector”.
The president continued “My Government will work on five important challenges that our country faces today:
• to strive for livelihood security for the vast majority of our population and continue to work for removal of poverty, hunger and illiteracy from our land;
• to achieve economic security through rapid and broad based development and creation of productive jobs for our people;
• to ensure energy security for our rapid growth;
• to realize our developmental goals without jeopardizing our ecological and environmental security;
• to guarantee our internal and external security within the framework of a just, plural, secular and inclusive democracy”.
The speech was disrupted both before and during its delivery and comes in the wake of a poor showing in five state elections that took place in the first two months of this year. The government has two years left before the next elections and currently looks to be struggling to move anything forward in parliament.