Inclusive growth should not remain a mere slogan and the benefits of economic prosperity must reach all sections of the society, President Pranab Mukherjee said today.
He also expressed confidence that the country's economic growth would bounce back to 8-9 per cent.
"The economic prosperity that our country has experienced over the last few decades will mean nothing if, on account of poverty, a significant percentage of our population is not able to participate in its development," Mukherjee said at the CII-ITC sustainability awards 2012 presentation ceremony here.
The current poverty ratio of around 30 per cent and illiteracy rate of 26 per cent in the country, he said, "is simply not acceptable".
"A decisive reduction in poverty will be possible only if there is an expansion in economic opportunities for all sections of the society. Inclusive growth should not be a mere slogan but a fundamental driving force for sustainable development," Mukherjee added.
The President also exuded confidence of India's economy bouncing back to 8-9 per cent, overcoming multiple challenges including the slowdown in the global economy.
"I hope that we would be successful in overcoming the challenge of reversing this short-term deceleration and bring our economy back to the growth levels of 8 to 9 per cent per year," Mukherjee said.
Attributing India's slow pace of economic growth to the "slowdown in the global economy and other factors," Mukherjee said the GDP growth rate declined from 8.4 per cent in 2010-11 to 6.5 per cent in 2011-12, and further to 5.4 per cent in the first half of 2012-13.