'Too much of democracy' in India makes it hard to carry out reforms, says NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant
Addressing a virtual event, Kant also said the next wave of reforms in India must come from states
According to a PTI report, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant had said at a virtual event on Tuesday that it was difficult to bring tough reforms in India as there was "too much of democracy" in the country.
"Tough reforms are very difficult in the Indian context, we have too much of democracy... You needed political will to carry out these reforms (mining, coal, labour, agriculture) and many more reforms still need to be done," Kant was quoted as saying by PTI.
However, the report was updated by the news agency after Swarajya magazine, which hosted the event issued a clarification that Kant's remarks were made in the context of "spreading resources too thin" and not on India's political system.
Swarajya's interaction with @amitabhk87 was on PLI & manufacturing and not on political systems. His response was in the context of spreading resources too thin & not creating global champions. Some mischievous elements have attempted to distort & quote it totally out of context.
— Swarajya (@SwarajyaMag) December 8, 2020
Twitterati slammed the Niti Aayog CEO as a video of his remarks began circulating on social media. English daily Hindustan Times, which had shared the remarks on Twitter, deleted it from the social media platform after Kant tweeted that he didn't say it.
This is definitely not what I said. I was speaking about MEIS scheme & resources being spread thin & need for creating global champions in manufacturing sector. https://t.co/6eugmtoinB — Amitabh Kant (@amitabhk87) December 8, 2020
As per the PTI report, Kant further asserted that is not easy for India to compete against China without hard reforms, and that the next wave of reforms must come from states.
"This government has demonstrated (the) political will to carry out hard reforms," he said.
"If 10 to 12 states will grow at higher rates, then there is no reason why Indian won't grow at higher rates. We have asked Union territories to privatise discoms. Discoms must become far more competitive and provide cheap power," he added.
Replying to a question on protests by farmers against the Centre's new farm laws, Kant said the agriculture sector needs reforms.
"It is very important to understand this that MSPs (minimum support price) will be there, mandis will remain... farmers must have a choice to sell their products as they benefit out of this," he noted.
On sourcing of raw material for manufacturing electric batteries in India, Kant pointed out that lithium (which is used for manufacturing batteries) is available in large quantities across the world, including Australia.
"We don't anticipate any shortage of lithium," he said.
On Modi government's "Aatmanirbhar Bharat" initiative, he said it is not about looking inwards, but unleashing the potential of Indian companies.
The government has identified 10 champion sectors for production-linked incentives (PLI) scheme and these sectors will play a major role in making India a manufacturing hub, and give the country economies of scale, Kant said.
"The PLI scheme is going to provide a huge opportunity to these sectors for four to five years to export," he added.
Noting that India must technologically leapfrog, Kant said it is also important for the country to get into sunrise industries.
With inputs from PTI
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