New Delhi: Demonetisation may lead to a temporary slowdown of the economy, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Thursday.
"Demonetisation, which immobilizing black money and fighting corruption, may lead to temporary slowdown of the economy," the President said in an address on video to Governors and Lt Governors.
"We all will have to be extra careful to alleviate the suffering of the poor which might become unavoidable for the expected progress in the long run," he said.
"While I appreciate the thrust on transition from entitlement approach to an entrepreneurial one for poverty alleviation, I am not too sure that the poor can wait that long.
"They need to get succour here and now, so that they can also participate actively in the national march towards a future devoid of hunger, unemployment and exploitation. The recent package announced by the Prime Minister will provide some relief", he added.
At the same time he sounded optimistic.
In 2014 and 2015, below normal rains had caused rural distress. A good monsoon in 2016 is expected to improve agricultural production and increase rural employment and incomes.
"Though our exports have been affected by weak global demand, we have a stable external sector. Reviving exports will remain a challenge but we can overcome it by improving the competitiveness of the domestic industry", the President said.
The President also urged the Governors and Lt Governors to preserve the composit culture of the country.
"In a pluralistic democracy like ours, tolerance, respect for contrary views and patience are a must. These values have to be preserved. India is a multi-faceted nation of 1.3 billion people, 122 languages, 1600 dialects and 7 religions", he said.