President Ram Nath Kovind today said the Indian economy is projected to grow at an impressive rate this fiscal as the nation faced the extraordinary challenge of corona virus with unmatched resolve.
Addressing the nation on the eve of the 73rd Republic Day, he said it is a testimony to India’s spirit in the face of adversity that the economy is on the move again, after going through contraction last year.
He said the pandemic management was bound to be more difficult in India because of its high population density, and as a developing economy, it did not have the level of resources and infrastructure needed to battle the invisible enemy.
The time of crisis however made citizens appreciate how all Indians were connected as one family. The time of social distancing brought them close to each other, he said.
“Doctors, nurses and paramedics have risen to the challenge, working long hours in difficult conditions even at the risk of their lives to attend to patients. Others have kept the nation moving, managing supply chains and utilities,” the President said.
The leadership, policy-makers, administrators and others at the central and state levels made timely interventions, as a result of which the economy was on the move again. It is a testimony to India’s spirit in the face of adversity that the economy is projected to grow at an impressive rate in this fiscal, after going through contraction last year, the President said.
The turnaround showed the success of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan launched in the previous year, he said. The government showed relentless focus on reforming every economic sector and providing a helping hand wherever necessary.
“The impressive economic performance is made possible due to improvement in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors. I am happy to note that our farmers, especially young farmers with small holdings, are enthusiastically adopting natural farming,” Kovind said.
Calling for continued caution against the virus which took many lives, he said “there are no words to express our collective trauma. The only saving grace is that many lives could be saved. As the pandemic is still wide-spread, we must remain alert and not let our guard down.”
Referring to the primacy accorded to Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties of citizens in the Constitution, he said they were two sides of the same coin.
“The observance of the Fundamental Duties mentioned in the Constitution by the citizens creates the proper environment for enjoyment of Fundamental Rights,” the President said.
“By fulfilling the fundamental duty of rendering national service when called upon to do so, crores of our people have transformed the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and the COVID vaccination drive into mass movements,” he said.
He said patriotism strengthens the sense of duty among citizens. “Whether you are a doctor or a lawyer, a shopkeeper or office-worker, a sanitation employee or a labourer, doing one’s duty well and efficiently is the first and foremost contribution you make to the nation,” he said.
“As the supreme commander of the Armed Forces, I am glad to note that it has been a water-shed year for women empowerment in the Armed Forces. Our daughters have broken a glass ceiling, and permanent commission has now been allowed for women officers in new areas,” he said.
“Also, the talent pipeline for the forces will be strengthened with women coming through Sainik Schools and the prestigious National Defence Academy. Consequently, our Armed Forces will benefit from better gender balance,” the President said.