‘Too Much of Democracy’: Kant Denies Remark, Video Shows Otherwise
Hindustan Times on Tuesday withdrew a story on remarks made by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant.
Hindustan Times on Tuesday, 8 December, withdrew a story on NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, titled ''Too much of democracy' hampering reforms in India, says Kant'.
The NITI Aayog CEO had quote tweeted the HT story - sourced from news agency PTI - saying, "This is definitely not what I said. I was speaking about MEIS scheme & resources being spread thin & need for creating global champions in manufacturing sector."
However, Kant did make references to Indian democracy at least two times in the context of growth and reforms during the webinar on which the PTI story was based.
What Did the NITI Aayog CEO Say?
In a video clip shared on Swarajya magazine's YouTube channel, Kant said at one place, "Tough reforms are very difficult in the Indian context. We are too much of a democracy. For the first time, the government has had the courage and the determination to carry out very hard-headed reforms across sectors – mining, coal, labour, agriculture. These are very difficult reforms. The easier reforms were done away with."
"You needed a huge amount of political determination and administrative will to carry out these reforms, which are being done. And many more reforms still need to be done... across larger states... But this government has at least demonstrated its political will to do hard-headed reforms. And we need to see them through to become a major manufacturing nation..."
In another portion of the webinar, the NITI Aayog CEO said that India has to "fire on all engines" and can't grow on the back of only services or only manufacturing.
"India must fire on the back of agriculture, manufacturing and services. All three of them on a sustained basis for the next three decades, year after year, to be able to lift a very young population above the poverty line. If you think you can do that on the back of services, whoever thinks that is sadly mistaken. You need to support manufacturing. In India, we are too much of a democracy so we keep supporting everybody. Here for the first time in India, a government has thought big in terms of size and scale and said we want to produce global champions...," he said.
The relevant counters from the video clip where the remarks are made are 25:00 and 32:00.
Twitter Calls Out Kant
Many on Twitter called out the NITI Aayog CEO for his remarks as well as his denial in a tweet.
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