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'Obama must say if he endorses G20 view on slowdown'

business Updated: Nov 18, 2008 12:53 IST
Obama must say if he endorses G20 view on slowdown: Chidambaram

Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday said India and other like-minded nations would like to know if the incoming Barack Obama administration in the US endorses the views expressed at the G20 Summit on financial crisis last weekend.

"It would be reassuring," the finance minister said, referring to the summit hosted by US President George W Bush in Washington but to which his soon-to-be successor Obama had declined an invitation, saying there could be only one US president at a time.

"It's not quite clear to us whether the incoming administration is fully on board on what the outgoing administration has put on the table," the finance minister said, adding: "Otherwise it was a good beginning."

Chidambaram said another "regret" at the Summit, where the Indian side was led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, was the failure to have a global oversight mechanism to indicate the problems without the prejudice of individuals.

At the same time, he said, the role of oversight mechanism that was proposed was not to regulate - which had to be at the national level - but to point out where the problems were so that swift remedial action could be taken.

Nevertheless, he said, a satisfactory outcome was the fact that the rich nations realised that developing countries, too, had a role to play in finding ways to end the current global financial crisis.

“G7 recognised, even if belatedly, that G7 does not have a solution,” said Chidambaram, who also attended the Summit along with Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and senior officials from the ministries of finance and commerce.

"G20 has come to stay as the single most important forum to address the problem and to find a solution for the world.”