India's natural resources are limited: PM

Last Updated: Fri, Apr 05, 2013 09:21 hrs

New Delhi, Apr 5 (IBNS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said India's economy is facing a major challenge in limited natural resources.

Addressing the International Workshop on Green National Accounting for India in New Delhi on Friday, Singh said: "India's commitment to planned economic development reflects the government's determination to improve the economic conditions of our people and an affirmation of the role of the government in bringing about this outcome through a variety of social, economic, and institutional initiatives."

"But as the economy develops the capacity to grow rapidly, it gives rise to many new challenges. For instance, natural resources are limited, and final. And one needs to decide how to use these scarce resources optimally, both from the economic development and the sustainability perspectives," he said.

He said often economic policies designed to promote growth have been implemented without considering their full environmental consequences, presumably on the assumption that these consequences would either take care of themselves or could be dealt with separately.

"There is evidence to suggest that such policies may actually result in a net decrease in human well-being. Even though it is not easy to quantify this concept.

"Globally, environmental degradation is manifesting itself through the loss of fertile soils, desertification, decreasing forest cover, reduction of fresh water availability, and an extreme loss of bio-diversity. These are serious consequences, and it has become clear today that economic development must be environmentally sustainable," said the PM.

He said through planned economic development, India aims to attain economic growth and poverty alleviation, and doing so in a sustainable manner.

"This is all the more important since a significant segment of India's population, particularly the rural poor, depends on natural resources for their subsistence and earning their livelihood.

"The poor need to be fully factored in when we deliberate the calculus of growth, which can be sustained only if natural resources are managed on a sustainable basis," the PM said.

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