Ensure job growth, Pranab Mukherjee tells govt

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Even as the Opposition continues to target the Narendra Modi-led dispensation over the state of the economy, former President Pranab Mukherjee called on the government to ensure a growth in jobs and stressed on the need for a balance between urban and rural job creation. He was speaking at the launch of an international economic convention on ‘Demonetisation: A Monetary Policy’ at RD National College in Bandra on Thursday.

“Jobless growth cannot be the objective of a country like ours. Therefore, we must have job creation and there must be a balance between urban and rural employment,” noted Mukherjee.

He added that the two areas that had seen substantial improvement included the current account deficit (CAD) position and fiscal deficit in terms of GDP. The inflation levels too were manageable and comfortable.

Stressing on the need for quality and quantity in education, Mukherjee said it was necessary for students from IITs to be engaged in basic research. He also expressed concerns over the high NPAs in the banking system.

“70 years of independence and 67 years of a Republic hugely provide us an opportunity to reflect on where we began and where we are today,” said Mukherjee, who demitted office earlier this year, adding that though the progress made by India could not be compared with the ASEAN economies, we could be satisfied keeping in view India’s peculiar position.

“In the last quarter, the GDP growth rate which has been declared by the CSO has improved particularly in the context of five continuous quarters, the GDP was going down and there is an upward feel,” said Mukherjee.

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