New Delhi, Dec 27 (IANS) India needed some 20 years of rapid growth to emerge as a middle-income economy, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Thursday, adding that infrastructure development and involvement of women remained the keys to achieving this goal.
"We have been reasonably successful in what we have achieved so far. But we must also remember that we are still a low income economy," the prime minister told a meeting of the National Development Council here to approve the 12th Five Year Plan.
"We need 20 years of rapid growth to bring it to middle-income level. The journey is long and requires hard work," he said at the Vigyan Bhavan convention centre here.
"Better infrastructure is the best guarantee for rapid growth of the economy," he said. "There can be no meaningful development without the participation of half the population (comprising women), their security must be assured."
An extra-constitutional, non-statutory body, the council is the apex institution for decision-making in India, led by the prime minister, and includes cabinet ministers, the chief ministers of all states and representatives from union territories.