No question of tide of reforms being reversed in India: Rao
Washington: There is no question of the tide of economic reforms in India being reversed, the country's top diplomat here has said, asserting that the "India Story" is definitely not over and its system responds very well when the chips are down.
"Look at the history of reform in India from 1991 onwards. Successive governments have come and gone, but the direction of reform has not been reversed, ever," Indian Ambassador to the US, Nirupama Rao, told the Asia Society here Thursday.
"Do not take us at face value. When the chips are down, our system responds very well. As our Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) told Secretary (of State Hillary) Clinton when they met in Delhi in May, 'the message I would like you to carry is that India remains open, and the climate (of reform) will not be disrupted'. The India Story is definitely not over," she said.
Acknowledging that India's trade and economic relationship with the US has not scaled the heights reached in American trade and economic ties with China, Rao said that there are goals yet to be achieved in this area.
"The voices of Indian companies and business interests are often unheard in the audio stream of voices from the US side who are constantly urging India to 'do more' on the reform front," she said.
In this crescendo from the American side, is the political economy and anthropology of India understood sufficiently? she asked. "There is no question of the tide of economic reform in India being reversed."
Observing that the Indian economy continues to be one of the two fastest growing economies in the world despite the fall in growth rates in the last one year, she said notwithstanding continuing uncertainty in the global economic situation, India's economy is in some ways better placed than those of many other nations.
"The fundamentals are strong. The long-term high growth trajectory for India is underpinned by several favourable factors - high savings and investments rates, a growing and young labour force, sharply rising adult literacy, rising per capita income, 3G connectivity, talented human resources, particularly engineering and managements skills.
"Further, our private sector is strong and innovative, with capable leadership and organisation," Rao said.