An excessive amount of democracy hindering reforms: Niti Aayog CEO

Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 8

Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant on Tuesday said it is difficult to carry out tough reforms in India as there is “too much of democracy”.

Kant also tweeted this observation, made during a virtual event organised by Swarajya magazine, but deleted it after a backlash on social media.

Speaking on protests by farmers against the Centre’s three new farm laws, he said, “It is very important to understand this that MSPs will be there, mandis will remain…farmers must have a choice to sell their products as they benefit out of this.”

Kant also said this is the first government that had carried out hard reforms across sectors, including mining, coal, labour, agriculture but felt states must push the next wave of reforms.

“Tough reforms are very difficult in the Indian context, we have too much of democracy…You needed political will to carry out these reforms (mining, coal, labour, agriculture) and many more reforms still need to be done,” he said while observing that it will be daunting to compete against China without hard reforms.

“This government has demonstrated political will to carry out hard reforms,” he added.

He also wanted the next wave of reforms to come from states.

“If 10-12 states will grow at higher rates, then there is no reason why India won’t grow at higher rates. We have asked UTs to privatise discoms. Discoms must become far more competitive and provide cheap power,” he observed.

He said the government had identified 10 champion sectors for production-linked incentives (PLI) scheme which will play a major role in making India a manufacturing hub, and give the country economies of scale.

He also wanted a reduction in logistics costs by undertaking sustained and well planned urbanisation which would be the next big driver of growth.

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