India growth story intact; investors curious about elections

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Indian leaders reiterated that the country's growth story remains intact even as the rich and powerful at the World Economic Forum. Reuters Indian leaders reiterated that the country's growth story remains intact even as the rich and powerful at the World Economic Forum. Reuters
SummaryIndian leaders reiterated that the country's growth story remains intact even as the rich and powerful at the World Economic Forum

Indian leaders today reiterated that the country's growth story remains intact even as the rich and powerful at the WEF appeared to be curious about the outcome of upcoming polls especially with advent of Aam Aadmi Party.

Most business leaders, including the likes of Tata Group chief Cyrus Mistry, were seen huddled with their global counterparts. Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma pitched the country's growth story during an investment round table on India.

The second day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) meet, where nearly 125 business and political leaders from India are participating, also witnessed deliberations revolving around the Middle East and climate change, among others.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram said that India could certainly return to 8 per cent growth rate if past mistakes are not repeated.

"In the last year and a half, we decided that we need to do more and be more decisive...the results are there to see. Our economy has stabilised," Chidambaram said.

Striking a positive note, Sharma, after meeting global investors, said they have confidence in the Indian economy.

"Various measures initiated by the government to implement reforms and fast track the decision-making process and clearances to projects have helped build this confidence," the Minister added.

Reflecting the optimistic mood, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said the next government will have to take forward the process of fiscal consolidation to keep the economic momentum intact.

He said that there is no need to ring alarm bells for the Indian economy as it was already growing at 5 per cent and the rate would improve further.

Meanwhile, the emergence of Aam Aadmi Party and talks about next Lok Sabha elections seem to be dominating the informal talks about India at this Swiss skiing resort town.

While not many are willing to go on record with their take on 'India's newest political phenomenon' -- Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP -- and its potential impact on the upcoming general elections, almost every foreign leader is quizzing their Indian counterparts about these issues.

Global rights group Amnesty International's Secretary General Salil Shetty said the emergence of AAP has shown that people "do not accept nonsense anymore" and similar trends are being seen in Brazil, Russia and many other places.

"Accountability to the population has to be there. AAP emergence has at least created a scare among the political leadership that you have to be accountable," he

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