India to voice concern of poor countries at G-20 summit today

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Washington, Nov 15 (UNI) Leaders of the world's richest nations and fastest growing economies start their formal discussions today at the G-20 summit here, on steps to tackle the global financial crisis.

The Indian delegation is led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who arrived in the US capital this afternooin. Those who will be assisting him at the summit include Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

India wiil make a strong pitch at the summit for enhancing assistance to developing countries, including India, to help them tide over the crisis which is not of their own making.

Mr Chidambaram had made out a case for larger developmental assistance from the World Bank to India, to finance Central and state projects, over and above three billion Dollars it gets annually from the Bank.

The Summit, convened by outgoing US President George W Bush, started with a working dinner at the White House last night. The main meeting is today.

According to reports, Mr Bush wants a clear plan of action to reform the international financial system. This, he feels is necessary to help prevent a similar crisis in the future. Chinese President Hu Jintao will be attending the summit with developed nations, already suggesting steps that China with its huge forex reserves, could take.

Chinese growth has been affected by the global crisis, falling to a single digit for the first time in years.

The theme of the summit is 'Finanacial Markets and the World Economy'.

India will highlight three critical issues pertaining to the global turmoil. These are: greater inclusivity of the international financial system ; protecting developing countries' growth prospects and need to avoid protectionist tendencies.

Soon after his arrival, Dr Singh was closeted with his close confidants - Mr Chidambaram and Dr Ahluwalia, who discussed with him the strategy at the summit.

India will be arguing for a greater role for developed countries in the Global Financial System.

Meanwhile, voices of dissent have started appearing relating to the summit. The world campaign for indepth reform of the system of international institutions, a European civil society initiative raised objections in this regard.

It expressed concern at the neo-liberal capitalist model on humanity, which is ''extremely unjust''. It said, invitations for the meeting have been issued in an arbitrary manner, ignoring poorest countries, which will be deeply impacted by the crisis. They said the Summit fails to take advantage and even overshadows the Doha Conference on 'Financing for Development' to review the implementation of Monterry Consensus, scheduled from November 29 to December 2. Particularly, as the consensus includes the section on systemic structural issues, which have been worked out for months at the United Nations.

Commentrators, however, say the G-20 Summit has some advantages.

It is more representative of the world's rising economic powers than the the G-7 or G-8 Summit. The G-7 comprises of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, The United Kingdom and United States.

Some rising powers now in G-20 has strong claim in the group.

These include India, Brazil , China, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Turkey.

The US is at the centre of the crisis, which began with the sub-prime housing market collapse and spread to the financial sector.

UNI GS RSA BST1343

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