Economy tops all, says Indian President Mukherjee in unveiling government programme
India's new government pledged to make the revival of the flagging economy its paramount target as it laid out its legislative agenda following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's landslide election victory.
In an address to the two houses of parliament which was drawn up by Modi's new cabinet, President Pranab Mukherjee said India's economy faced "extremely difficult" times and that inflation was "unacceptably" high.
The speech included a series of ambitious policy goals that had been laid out in the election manifesto of Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party, including the creation of 100 new cities and a revamp of the railway network.
"The country is passing through an extremely difficult phase on the economic front," said Mukherjee. "Putting the economy back on track is paramount for my government.
"My government will strive to get India on a high growth path, reign in inflation, restart the investment cycle... [and] restore investor confidence," he said.
India's economy has been growing at below 5 per cent for the past two years, way below the level needed to lift millions of people out of poverty.