Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday said while vaccines do offer hope of shielding people from COVID-19, determined efforts are needed to bring the country's economic growth back on track.
Mr Naidu was speaking at Goa Legislators' Day event in Porvorim near Panaji in presence of Governor BS Koshyari, Speaker of Legislative Assembly Rajesh Patnekar, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant among others.
"India and the world are passing through difficult times with the COVID-19 pandemic compounding the situation caused by the economic slide that was unfolding even earlier," the Vice President said.
"Vaccines do offer the hope of shielding people from the disease, but return to the potential economic growth trajectory calls for determined efforts," he said.
The Centre has been undertaking a series of reforms to unleash the growth potential since only a robust economic growth can help meet the aspirations of people, Mr Naidu said.
Legislators across the country need to seriously reflect on the challenging situation that the country is facing and mount a national effort to come out of it at the earliest, Mr Naidu added.
The Vice President further said that while the year 2020 had gotten off to a notorious start with the COVID-19 outbreak, people have ushered in this new year with a sense of hope, with scientists from the country and world coming out with vaccines.
Last year, India rose to the occasion as one collective entity in handling the pandemic with considerable results, Mr Naidu said.
Given the state of the health infrastructure in the country, the demographic conditions and socio-economic inequalities, India was expected to be severely impacted in terms of caseload, mortalities and consequences, he said.
"However, due to the national resolve demonstrated, we could contain the scale of damage remarkably and it is being acknowledged both within and outside the country," the Vice President added.