Mumbai: Union Minister Kapil Sibal on Saturday said the country must maintain higher GDP expansion of over eight percent if it is to achieve inclusive growth.

"India needs to maintain 8-9 pc growth to sustain investment in critical sectors like health and education. We cannot have an inclusive growth with Hindu rate of growth," Sibal said at an award function organised by a news channel here.

Talking about the criticism in the public sphere on government policies and alleged inaction, Sibal said, "There is a lot of criticism. The self-flagellation will destroy India. If the country itself was not sure about its own strengths, how would the outside world have confidence about the country?"

Sibal also stressed on the need to have more investments in education and healthcare, saying any nation wanting to be a superpower cannot afford to have investments under one per cent of GDP in these two areas.

Ours is perhaps the only nation in the world where 80 per cent of the investment in healthcare comes from the private sector, he said.

Referring to the oft-quoted advantage of "demographic dividend," Sibal said the country should be prepared for higher expenditure on us in the next 10-15 years as all the gains of the demographic dividend would wear off with the population ageing.


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