President inaugurates trade fair, says skill-building vital to growth

The 32nd India International Trade Fair (IITF) was inaugurated in the Capital on Wednesday. During the inauguration, President Pranab Mukherjee said India needs to constantly fine-tune the skills of the country's workforce as skill-building is integral to promoting economic growth.

"The Indian economy has undergone a sea change in the last 30 years, emerging as an important player among world economies... To meet the target of 500 million skilled people in the country by 2022, it is essential to enhance skills of the nation's workforce," Mukherjee said.

The President said recent policy measures taken by the government like allowing FDI in retail, civil aviation and others "will help boost growth and curb fiscal deficit". He said the decision to seek legislative approval for "increasing FDI cap in insurance and pension sectors" was crucial.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, who was present at IITF, said there is a huge gap in skills training as India has been able to train only four million people against a requirement of 15 million. "It is imperative for countries to join hands and invest in institutions which will provide employment, considering the stress on the economy," he said.

The India Trade Promotion Organisations's (ITPO) annual trade fair opened on Wednesday with over 6,000 exhibitors showcasing their products.

The first five days of the fair are for businesses and it will be open for public from November 19 to 27 from 9.30 am to 5 pm. Around 15 lakh visitors are expected in the next 14 days.

As many as 23 countries, 32 states and union territories, and 31 Central government ministries and departments will put up pavilions at the event.

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