Belgaum: Finance Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday stressed the need for boosting manufacturing sector growth for economic progress.
"The manufacturing sector need to grow further to keep pace with East Asian countries which are growing rapidly," he said delivering the 11th Annual Convocation address at the Visvesvaraya Technological University here.
The government has decided to spend Rs 50 lakh crore in the next five years to upgrade infrastructure, he said.
Mukherjee said India maintained 9.5 percent of GDP growth for three consecutive years till 2008 but the growth rate slumped due to global economic crisis.
The GDP dropped to 8.4 percent in 2011-12, he said, asserting that the government's goal was to take the GDP growth to double digit.
People with technical expertise and skilled workmanship can take the country to greater heights, he said.
Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj and Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda were present on the occasion.
The university conferred honorary degree to Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla, AICTE Chairman S S Mantha and former Vice-Chancellor of Roorkee University H C Visvesvaraya.
Honorary doctorate was also presented posthumously to educationist M S Ramaiah and it was received by his son M R Jayaram.