New Delhi, March 12 Stating that the UPA was committed to honest and efficient governance, President Pratibha Patil Monday said India would soon be back on the high growth path of 8-9 percent from the 7 percent estimated for the current fiscal.
Addressing the joint session of parliament on the first day of the budget session, the president said the current year had been a difficult year for global economy.
"There is increased political uncertainty and turbulence in the international system and the environment in which we operate has become more challenging over the last one year," the president said.
"Our economy grew at a handsome rate of 8.4 percent in 2010-11, but it has slowed down to about 7 percent this year. This remains a healthy growth given current global trends."
She said the long-term fundamentals of the Indian economy were robust.
"My government is confident that it will soon steer the country back to the high growth trajectory of eight to nine percent," the president said.
She said several steps had been taken to provide an honest and more efficient government and "a formidable and unprecedented" array of bills had been introduced in parliament.
Setting a target of 9 percent economic growth in the 12th Five Year Plan period (2012-13 to 2016-17), she said the government will focus on livelihood, economic, energy, ecological and internal security challenges facing India.
"The approach paper of the 12th Plan sets a target growth rate of 9 percent for the economy and 4 percent for the agriculture sector."
Elaborating on the five important challenges, she said the government will strive for livelihood security and continue to work for the removal of poverty, hunger and illiteracy.
Highlighting the need to achieve economic security through rapid and broadbased development and creation of productive jobs for the people, she said energy security, ecological and environmental security and internal and external security would also be required within the framework of a just, plural, secular and inclusive democracy.