According to Mukherjee, land is increasingly becoming a scarce resource, has to be managed efficiently. "Principles of community empowerment have to be adopted to increase the productivity of land, particularly rain-fed, degraded and waste lands. Climate change, energy security and environmental degradation have to be given priority in development initiatives. Judicious resource management has to be ensured even while putting people first," he added.
Mukherjee stressed the need for good governance practices and women empowerment measures are required to make these bodies viable instruments of rural transformation. According to him, it would be appropriate to establish self-help groups as effective institutions of the rural poor to enable them to increase household income through sustainable livelihood enhancements, increased productive capacity, generation of durable assets, assimilation of new technologies in production and marketing, skill development and improved access to financial services.
"I urge open exchange of views and experiences in this Governing Council meeting. I am most certain of the conclusions and decisions taken here to help us prepare better for the challenges of tomorrow," said Mukherjee while declaring the meet open.