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Development cannot be sustainable if an economic or social group is left behind: India at UNCTAD conference

Author: IANS/Thursday, July 12, 2018/Categories: Economy

Development cannot be sustainable if an economic or social group is left behind: India at UNCTAD conference

Geneva - Sustainable development cannot be achieved unilaterally by any one country or by ignoring a significant economic or social group, said India at a UNCTAD conference, an official statement said.

Speaking at the 3rd Intergovernmental Group of Experts (IGE) convened by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Tuesday called sustainable development the need of the present time not only for the survival of mankind but also for its future protection. 

"Sustainable development cannot be achieved unilaterally by any one country. We are all interlinked in one way or other. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have brought a realisation in all of us that, if a significant economic or social group is left behind, our development can never be sustainable.

"The 2030 Agenda, therefore, includes a commitment to leave no one behind. This essentially means we need to work together to find solutions that are sustainable and durable, and that recognize our interdependence," he said, as per the statement.

Paswan also said that the 'sustainable revolution' will have "to take place rapidly, consciously and on many different levels and in many different spheres, simultaneously".

He also cited the measures taken by India in the interests of consumers for achieving the SDGs, a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

Paswan said India has continued its programme of economic reforms to achieve sustained rapid growth. 

"The reforms have included fiscal consolidation, inflation targeting, all around improved governance, financial inclusion, accelerated infrastructure development, curbing of corruption and black money.

"We have enacted supporting legislations like Aadhaar Act, Goods and Services Tax (GST) Act, further liberalization of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and much more," he said, adding the measures has resulted the country being "the fastest growing large economy in the world". 

"It grew 7.9% during fiscal year 2015-16 and 7.1% during 2016-17. Growth has brought increased volume of revenues, which have permitted the government to sustain a high-level of social spending that directly targets poverty," said Paswan.

Paswan also spoke about the measures India have taken to eliminate poverty by empowering poor.

"The primary policy objective of our government is to ensure food security for the country through timely and efficient procurement and distribution of food grains..The food grains are finally distributed to around 0.8 billion beneficiaries through the public distribution system, perhaps world's largest welfare programme," he said.

Minimum Support Price mechanism for farmers, End-to-End Computerisation of Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) Operations, "Price Stabilization Fund to protect consumers from price volatility, new law for consumer protection are among the measures Paswan mentioned during his speech.

He said India had managed to keep inflation only a single digit in last four years and contain food prices despite the rise in crude prices.

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