NEW DELHI: Minister for Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs and Information, Choudhary Zulfkar Ali today said peace is imperative for economic growth and collective efforts must be made for maintaining it for overall development of the nation.
At a national seminar on ‘Economic Growth and National Integration’ organized by India International Friendship Society at New Delhi, Zulfkar said economic development is only possible when there is peace and tranquillity. He said all the activities would run smoothly in the country if peace is maintained and would lead to greater development and prosperity and create a feeling of trust, tolerance, and brotherhood among people and promote national integration. He said as democracy supports peaceful relations between states, economic prosperity and fuller development of people; peace makes possible the development of stable political institutions, more productive economic activity and a more civilized social life.
In order to develop the nation, Zulfkar said that everybody needs to contribute their bit towards peace and prosperity in the subcontinent because an atmosphere of enmity can badly affect the economy as well as social life. He added that since the world is rapidly changing into a global village and there is less relevance of borders, everybody needs to think about mutual cooperation by ending conflicting situations with neighbours and play role in making the nation a developed one.
Former Union Minister and Governor Shivraj Patil, Former Governor Bhimsen Narayanan Singh and Former Speaker Yoganand Shastri were among the notables in the audience. Zulfkar said that India is proceeding towards becoming one of the big global economies. He said that after Independence, India’s per capita income increased at only around 1% annual rate in the three decades but after 1991 economic liberalization, India has progressed towards a free market economy and specific changes were witnesses which included reduction in import tariffs, deregulation of markets, reduction of taxes, and greater foreign investment.
Terming national integration important for economic growth, the Minister said that it is highly necessary in a multi-religious, multi-ethnic, multi-caste, multi-regional society like India and for stable economic growth and national integration, we need to end impartial funding and try to uplift poor sections of the society. He added that regional imbalance in economic development and acute poverty of certain sections of the people imposes a serious threat to the achievement of the national integration.
He also pressed for educational development which he said plays a vital role in economic development and national integration. He said that only education can promote faith in the integrity and the moral worth of the individual.
The Minister further impressed upon NGOs to work for strengthening the process of national integration. He said that these organizations can create necessary social awareness for bringing social reforms and change in the mindset of the people. On the occasion, the Minister was awarded Bharat Gaurav Award for his outstanding performance in implementing National Food Security Act in Jammu and Kashmir.
Zulfkar thanked India International Friendship Society for honouring him for his works which he said he would continue to do for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.