Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that he is not done with reforms yet, which would remain at the centre of his government’s agenda. “My agenda for ‘reform to transform’ is yet to be finished,” Modi said at the Advancing Asia conference organized by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Indian government in New Delhi. Modi highlighted the achievements of his government that has led to macro-economic stability. “A durable reduction in inflation, steady fiscal consolidation, a comfortable balance of payments position and build-up of foreign exchange reserves are the highlights,” Modi said.
Speaking at the three-day conference in the presence of IMF managing director Christine Lagarde and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Modi conveyed his happiness at the IMF’s long-standing quota reforms. “Madam (Christine) Largarde, the long pending quota revisions agreed in 2010 have finally come into effect,” Modi said. “Reform of global institutions has to be an on-going process. It must reflect changes in the global economy and the rising share of emerging economies…I am, therefore very happy that the IMF has decided to finalize the next round of quota changes by October 2017.” The quota reforms would give more say to countries like India, the Prime Minister added.
The Prime Minister also hailed India’s stance of gaining in trade at a neighbour’s expense. “We have never tried to gain in trade at the expense of our partners. We do not follow “beggar thy neighbor” macro-economic policies,” Modi said in an oblique reference to China. “We have never undervalued our exchange rate. We add to world and Asian demand by running current account deficits.”
While calling the 21st century the year for Asia, Modi said that India has proved that economic growth and social stability can go hand-in-hand. “Amid global problems, India is a haven of macro-economic stability and a beacon of hope, dynamism and opportunity,” Modi said. Lagarde, who was also a keynote speaker, said, “With the promise of more reforms, India’s stars are shining bright.”
India and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also set up the South Asia Regional Training and Technical Assistance Centre (SARTTAC) in New Delhi to improve capacity development and training of officials in dealing with macro-economic and financial issues. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) to set it up was signed by Jaitley and Lagarde in presence of the Prime Minister.