The US on Wednesday felt there was a "pause" in India's economic reform process and that this loss of momentum could have serious economic costs attached to it, but New Delhi contested the observation saying reforms were continuing steadily.
The American view of India's economic reform process was voiced by that country's Ambassador in New Delhi David C Mulford, who said: "There are signs of a pause in the reforms process in recent months."
He said privatisations have stopped and political reality suggests that reforms of other key sectors and policies of central interest to investors will take longer than envisioned.
The differences in perspectives of the country's reforms process came up at the 3rd Indo-US Economic Summit in New Delhi, where Mulford also cautioned that there could be "serious economic costs to any loss of momentum on the reform front".
However, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who was the chief guest, contested Mulford's view saying: "The reforms were no stop and go but a continuous process".
Apparently referring to the difference of opinion between the UPA and the Left Front, which is supporting the government from outside, he said: "There could be minor hitches in the process of reforms but as you know only too well, democracy is about checks and balances".
Elaborating, the minister said: "Decisions can be taken only after debate and due consideration. Hasty decision making can have its own negative repercussions."