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India pledges support to regional efforts to fight poverty

India on Wednesday pledged to continue its unwavering support to combat challenge of endemic poverty in the SAARC region, asserting that all the member countries of the bloc should develop and progress collectively.

July 29, 2015 / 09:24 PM IST

India on Wednesday pledged to continue its unwavering support to combat challenge of endemic poverty in the SAARC region, asserting that all the member countries of the bloc should develop and progress collectively.

In his address at the fourth meeting of SAARC Ministers on Poverty Alleviation, Minister of State of Rural Development Sudarshan Bhagat said India will was ready to extend all possible assistance to any regional endeavours to remove the "scourge".

"It is our firm belief that the member countries will not only overcome the endemic poverty in the region but will in the coming years develop the capacity to address all problems relating to poverty.


"India will continue to support all regional endeavours for removing this scourge from our midst as soon as possible," he said, articulating India's position on dealing with the challenge.

Noting that concerted efforts were required to combat poverty, Bhagat said it has been India's belief that the region should develop and progress collectively and elaborated on various programmes and policies of the Indian government to deal with the problem.

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was strongly committed to end poverty and that he believed the first claim on development belongs to the poor.


"After 67 years of our Independence, India has metamorphosed from an under developed economy into an emergent global nation with one of the world's largest economies.

Today, our aspirations have soared and now we seek elimination, rather than alleviation of poverty," said Bhagat.

He said the NITI Aayog has been entrusted with the task of fulfilling the aspirations of the people by providing a critical directional and strategic input into the development process.

"Poverty elimination remains one of the most important metrics by which alone we should measure our success as a nation.

Every Indian must be given an opportunity to live a life of dignity and self respect," Bhagat said, adding the economy was now regaining its momentum towards a higher growth trajectory.

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