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Reforms must be driven by people… not stealth: PM

As he seeks to accelerate his economic reforms drive, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the reforms process is bound to face resistance and wants it to be insulated from political pressures. Making a strong pitch for economic reforms, Mold told fellow G20 leaders here that reforms should lead to process simplification and governance methods must be reformed.

He was speaking at a retreat hosted by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott at Queensland Parliament House where the leaders met without aides shortly before the annual summit of the 20 industrialised and major economies kicked off at the Brisbane Convention Centre in the afternoon. A barbeque lunch was served to the G20 leaders.

‘Reforms are bound to face resistance... must be insulated from political pressures,’ said Modi. The Prime Minister also made it clear that reform has to be driven by the people and that it cannot be undertaken by ‘stealth’. Asserting that reform must be people-centric and people-driven, he said globally reforms are handicapped with the perception of being government programmes and a burden on the people and this needs to change. Modi felt that reforms should lead to simplification of processes and that governance methods must be reformed.

Noting that reform is a continuous multi-stage process and that it must be institutionalised, the Prime Minister said that it must be technology driven and must have scale and address root causes.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told reporters Friday that Prime Minister Abbott had specially requested Modi to outline his vision for reforms at the informal meeting of G20 leaders at the retreat in addition to his intervention at the main summit.

Abbott said the G20 leaders bear heavy responsibility to achieve economic change. ‘Nowhere on earth will there be a more influential gathering than this.... The world is looking to all of us right now to try to demonstrate to an uncertain and at times anxious world there are people who know what they are doing, that there are people who have a plan... for growth and for jobs,’ he told the group.
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