Projecting a nine to 10 per cent growth rate, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said efforts should be made to remove “deficiencies” to enhance productivity across all sectors of the economy.
He said the country’s economic performance in the last few years has been “impressive” and is poised to move to a trajectory of sustained high economic growth which is essential for fighting persistent poverty, hunger and disease that still afflicts millions of people.
“Our aim is a growth rate of nine to 10 per cent in the medium term. But this will not happen automatically. There are deficiencies we will have to remove and strengths that we will have to acquire,” he said presenting the Prime Minister’s Shram Awards for 2005, 2006 and 2007.
To achieve this ambition, Dr. Singh said efforts should be made to enhance productivity across all sectors of the economy.
Noting that the resources are limited and need to be utilised optimally, he asked the people to pay greater attention to “cutting costs and boosting the quality of the products and services”.
Observing that workers in the unorganised sector comprise over 90 per cent of the total workforce, Singh said the Government was committed to creating conditions that would encourage an individual’s initiative, ingenuity and acquisitions of new skills.
He said there is a need to pay much greater attention to education and skill development in an increasingly integrated world where new knowledge, information and skills are critical determinants of economic development.
“Our country needs an enabling environment which encourages and rewards innovation. We need more responsive training systems and institutions,” the Prime Minister said.
He said the country must also ensure that women have equitable access to education and training opportunities so that their representation in the nation’s workforce can increase.
Dr. Singh said the Government also intends to accelerate efforts on the skill development initiative to achieve the objective of having a skilled workforce that can meet the requirements of the growing economy in the 21st century besides generating employment opportunities.
Congratulating the award winners, the Prime Minister asked them to resolve to make the workplaces more disciplined.
Labour and Employment Minister Mallikarjun Kharge, speaking on the occasion, asked all agencies to ensure effective implementation of the National Policy on Safety, Health and Environment at workplaces through close coordination, supervision and participation of all stakeholders.