India has dispelled the myth that democracy and rapid economic growth cannot go together, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the Advancing Asia Conference” in New Delhi on Saturday.
Modi and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde addressed the conference to take stock of the region’s economic performance and challenges ahead.
Here are the key highlights of his speech:
# Asia has a large number of women leaders. Today 4 large states of India are headed by democratically elected women
# India has moved from carbon subsidies to carbon tax; the coal cess has been doubled
# We have increased investment in the rural and agriculture sector, because that is where a majority of India still lives. But our help to the farmers is not based on giving hand-outs. We aim to double farmer incomes
#Our rapid economic growth is also very distinct in Asia. We have never tried to gain in trade at expense of our partners
#We have achieved major gains in macro economic stability
#Corruption and interference in the decisions of banks and regulators are now behind us
#India has a special place in Asia. It has historically contributed to Asia in several ways
#Entrepreneurship is booming, following a series of steps we have taken
#Asia is the ray of hope for global economic recovery
#Many knowledgeable people have said that the twenty first century is and will be the Asian Century
#Apart from advice the IMF can help in building capacity for policy making
# All of us need to pursue policies that provide a stable macro economy, enhance growth and further inclusion
#IMF has decided to finalize the next round of quota changes by October 2017
IMF’s Lagarde calls for growth-supportive monetary, fiscal policies
Christine Lagarde o urged Asian nations to employ growth-friendly monetary and fiscal policies to counter challenges posed by a fragile global economy. The call comes as policymakers the world over are struggling to revive their economies, which have been buffeted by slowing productivity and high debt.
Central banks in Europe and Japan have resorted to negative interest rates to stimulate consumer demand and perk up worryingly low inflation. But the strategy has added to the volatility in the financial markets and raised the spectre of competitive currency devaluation.
The multilateral lender earlier this week warned of a further downgrade to the global growth outlook on increasing risks of economic derailment.
“What should be Asia’s response?...It is safe to say that structural reforms are key — to boost competitiveness, growth, and jobs,” Lagarde said.
In January, the IMF projected global growth of 3.4 percent and 3.6 percent in 2016 and 2017, respectively, having revised down its October forecast for both years by 0.2 of a percentage point.
The third downgrade in less than a year was triggered by China’s worst slowdown in 25 years that has exposed vulnerabilities in the country’s corporate and financial sector.
Lagarde, who arrived on Friday, held a brief meeting with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and described India as: “A bright spot in the turbulent times for the global economy.” She added that it was only befitting that the conference was being held in New Delhi.
The Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley and Ms Christine Lagarde,MD,IMF signing a MOU in national capital today pic.twitter.com/dSJPhqi47k— Ministry of Finance (@FinMinIndia) March 11, 2016
Earlier on Friday, the finance minister had tabled in parliament a supplementary demand of grant of Rs.69,575 crore towards increasing India’s quota in the IMF that will allow it an increased voting rights in the affairs of the multilateral funding agency.