Bengaluru: President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday expressed the hope that economy would regain growth rate of over 8 percent soon and the country's USD 350 billion-plus foreign reserves put India in a comfortable position to deal with global challenges.
Inaugurating the centenary celebrations of the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the President said macro economic parameters like inflation and external sector balance have improved in the past year.
"The current account deficit has narrowed to 1.7 percent of GDP in April-December 2014 from 2.3 percent in the corresponding period last year. At over 350 billion US dollars, we now have comfortable foreign exchange reserves to meet the next set of challenges from global economic developments," Mukherjee said.
The President said achieving high growth rate is a potent tool to fight scourge of poverty.
"Given the macro economic prospects, our economic growth should regain the eight per cent plus level soon. In a country like ours, there is no greater imperative than a robust and sustained economic growth," Mukherjee said.
The President said population living below poverty line in the country declined from 37.2 percent in 2004-05 to 21.9 percent in 2011-12.
"About 85 million people were lifted out of poverty during the three-year period 2009-10 to 2011-12," he said.
The President said it is not enough to be satisfied by poverty alleviation as the country will have to commit for poverty elimination which can be done by generating gainful employment opportunities and creation of skilled labour force.
The President said developing businesses into models of excellence call for deeper application of management principles and better appreciation of the socio economic realities.
"Businesses are meant not only to earn profits for their shareholders but also to add value to society at large," he said.
Talking about the economy, Mukherjee said India's economy grew at 8.6 percent and 8.9 percent during 2009-10 and 2010-11 respectively notwithstanding global slowdown of 2008.
"Fiscal expansionary measures helped in maintaining the growth momentum amidst downturn anxieties emanating from the global markets," he said.
Mukherjee said the experience of the developed economies in the past few years suggests that an economy at full employment but with inflation higher than the normal may be better positioned to withstand a bout of financial stress than the one that is flirting with deflation.
"In our case we have also seen that business sentiment once broken and depressed may take considerable time to mend and receive the growth momentum," he said.