G20 Summit: Modi calls for people-driven reforms

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15 November 2014

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for people-driven and people-oriented economic reforms that would face least resistance even as he sought an acceleration of the reform drive.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the other BRICS leaders ahead of the G-20 Summit

In his address to the G20 nations in Brisbane, Australia, on Saturday Modi called for simplification of procedures and processes, including methods of governance, so that the path is cleared for carrying out reforms smoothly.

"Reform is a continuous multi-stage process... must be institutionalised - Globally, reforms are handicapped with perception of being government programmes, a burden on the people. This needs to change," the prime minister said.

Even as he sought to hasten the reform process, he said the reform process is bound to face resistance and wanted it to be insulated from political pressures.

"Reform is bound to face resistance... must be insulated from political pressures. Reform has to be driven by the people....cannot be by stealth," he said.

Speaking at a retreat and lunch before the G20 summit formally startsed this  afternoon; Modi said reforms should be technology-driven and should have scale and address the root causes.

The retreat was hosted by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott at the Queensland Parliament House where the leaders met without aides shortly before the annual summit of the 20 industrialised and major economies kicked off at the Brisbane Convention Centre in the afternoon.

The G20, which comprises the world's largest advanced and emerging economies, represents about two-thirds of the world's population, 85 per cent of global gross domestic product and over 75 per cent of global trade.

G20 members include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, Britain, the US and the European Union.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told reporters yesterday that Prime Minister Abbott had specially requested Modi to outline his vision for reforms at the informal meeting of G20 leaders at the retreat in addition to his intervention at the main summit.

In his remarks at the retreat, Abbott said the G20 leaders bear heavy responsibility to achieve economic change.

''Nowhere on earth will there be a more influential gathering than this,'' he told the group.

''The world is looking to all of us right now to try to demonstrate to an uncertain and at times anxious world there are people who know what they are doing, that there are people who have a plan... for growth and for jobs,'' Abbott said.

However, Abbott acknowledged there were limitations in what could be achieved, and that there would be inevitable disagreements among the leaders.

He urged them to speak candidly and openly at the summit.

''The only rules, as far as I'm concerned, are if we can speak from our heart rather than from a script, that would be good,'' he added.





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