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Kalam exhorts CEOs to lead reforms

September 26, 2003 13:39 IST
Last Updated: September 26, 2003 14:22 IST

President A P J Abdul Kalam on Friday made an impassioned plea to Indian entrepreneurs -- both in the country and abroad -- to share their knowledge and expertise to help start a "well synchronised" economic revolution and make India a developed nation.

"Global Indian family of talented entrepreneurs should participate in this movement towards a developed India by using their knowledge and experience," Kalam said addressing over 100 CEOs, gathered in Kochi to discuss ways to transform India into an "economically secure and spiritually strong country."

Pointing out that nearly 26 per cent of the 260 million people were below the poverty line, he said steps should be taken to double the GDP from the present 4.5 per cent.

"The fundamental sectoral contributions to GDP of different countries should be studied to understand how advanced countries had transformed themselves into an era of prosperity and strength," he said.

"The key to rapid growth lies in empowering the rural society with knowledge," Kalam said, adding agriculture and food processing, education and health care have been identified as the thrust areas.

He said steps should be taken to develop all the 580,000 villages, which missed out on both the industrial and IT revolution.

Pointing out that India lacked transparency in governance, he said, "As India moves towards being a developed nation and economic superpower with an empowered management," there is a need to have "spiritual connectivity" besides leaders with high morale.

Kalam said that our economic growth strategy should focus on enhancing wealth generation from the services sector.

"By 2020, the contribution of the service sector should be 64 per cent of the GDP, while agriculture sector should also increase its share in the total GDP from the present 25 per cent," he said.

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