NITI Aayog's CEO's statements strikes controversy
NITI Aayog CEO, Amitabh Kant, stoked controversy after saying at an online event that it is difficult to carry out tough reforms in India as we are too much of a democracy.
“Tough reforms are very difficult in the Indian context...we are too much of a democracy. For the first time, the government has had the courage and determination to carry out very hard-headed reforms across sectors...Mining, coal, labour, agriculture. These are very, very difficult reforms. The easier reforms were done away with. You needed a huge amount of political determination and administrative will to carry out these reforms which have been done.
And many more reforms still need to be done...across logistics, across power. But this government has at least demonstrated its political will to do hard-headed reforms and we need to see them through to become a major manufacturing nation. It’s not easy to compete with China...It’s not easy to become a manufacturing nation...It doesn’t happen by holding seminars and webinars. It requires a very hard-headed ground-level approach which has been attempted for the first time in India.”
His remarks came amid the farmers’ agitation against the agri reform legislations recently enacted by Parliament.
To criticism of India turning protectionist, Kant said political will was required to carry out big reforms.
The report had cited a section of Kant’s answer to a question during an event organised by a magazine. The think tank head was asked about the Centre’s policies for the manufacturing sector amid the pandemic and if the crisis was a “second chance” for India to make its mark.
In the full clip of the online event, Kant can be heard making the comments at the 33-minute mark. He further added that it is not easy to compete with China without hard reforms, and called on the states to carry out the next wave of reforms, with the Centre pitching with its own reforms.
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