‘Nobody has spoken to me about corruption’

It is unfortunate that a section of Indian media is playing up this issue.

Written by The Financial Express | Published: January 30, 2011 11:42 pm

Q: Some WEF participants have raised issues relating to governance deficit,corruption in India.
: No foreign leader,investor – and I have met dozens of them over the last few days – none of them have raised with me any issues relating to corruption,or money laundering,or anything like that. Nobody has spoken to me about these issues. It is unfortunate that a section of Indian media is playing up this issue. In fact,we have discussed issues relating to investment,international economic situation,and the crisp growth rate that India is recording,even in a time of uncertainty.

Q: Will the high inflation back home kill growth?
: It’s quite clear in the global assessment that energy and commodity prices will remain high. Food inflation will also perhaps be high,globally. Some of its effects will indeed be felt in India. Therefore,Indian policy makers and authorities must factor into their policy the fact that commodity,energy and food prices may remain high through 2011. That is the lesson that we have to learn from what we have gathered in the last few days.

Q: There have been some concerns on whether the inclusive growth agenda will affect government finances and hurt growth in the medium term.
: All countries,and I think even IMF,are supporting fiscal consolidation. We have a fiscal consolidation path laid out by the Vijay Kelkar report. The finance minister,in his last budget speech,laid out the fiscal consolidation path. As long as we adhere to this path – and we have assured foreign investors that India will adhere to that – I don’t think there is any issue. I haven’t heard any serious concerns about our ability to adhere to the laid out fiscal consolidation path too.

Q: After the Moscow blasts,are you considering an upgrade of the security infrastructure at airports?
: Golbal leaders reckon that security is a 24×7 affairs. I didn’t hear any great debate on security. The world has factored in the possibility that terrorist attacks will take place in one part of the world or another. All that national governments can do is continue remaining alert and strengthen security.

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