Right to Food to have gigantic impact,should be universal: Prez
New Delhi: Noting that the food security scheme would have a "gigantic impact" on the society, President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday hoped that Right to Food will be universal in coming years.
Speaking at a conference on Directive Principles of State policy, he said that Right to Information Act, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Scheme and other social welfare legislations have played a great role in empowering the people of the country.
The President said that country has much to cheer about on the economic development front during the past decades.
"Since 1947 there are many reasons to cheer about. India`s economy grew at 3.5 per cent per year for 29 years from 1951 to 1979.
"In the 80s our GDP grew by 5.2 percent, in 90s 6.5 per cent and in the last ten years despite two major international events affecting the world economy--2008 financial crisis and euro zone crisis--since 2003-04 to 2012-13 Indian ecomony grew at 7.9 per cent per year perhaps next only to China. These are our achievements," he said.
He said that Rural Employment Scheme which was introduced in 2005 has now covered the entire rural India to prove jobs to rural people.
He also said that Right to Food would have "gigantic impact" on the society.
"Education at the age of 14 years, even after the completion of ten five year plan and five annual plans in between since 1951 and till the completion of 10th five year plan in 2002, we could not implement.
"But finally with the passage of the Right to Education Act, these have been guaranteed. And recently, I do feel we made an experiment which may have a gigantic impact and that is the Right to food. Now it is not universal but I am confident that with the passage of time it will be totally universal," he said.
The Chief Justice of India, P Sathasivam, also emphasised on inclusive growth and said equitable access to land, credit, basic services like shelter, health, education have to be ensured.
"India`s future will depend on how well and how quickly it meets these challenges to ignite growth, broaden its comprehensiveness and sustain a long period of inclusive development," he said.
The CJI said expansion of economic opportunity, social inclusion to promote equal access to opportunities, and social safety nets supported by good governance and strong institutions can promote inclusive growth where all members of the society can benefit from and contribute to the process.
He also said, "In order to meet the rising expectations of the people, we have to guarantee the basic needs of the people. The service of India means the service of millions who suffer. It means the eradication of poverty, illiteracy and inequality of opportunity.
"It is upto the legal profession, more than any other section of the society, to quicken the pace of socio-economic change. I believe the role of judicial fraternity is very significant so that every section of the society can get their due share."
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