Development, fiscal reform will be key issues at G-20 meeting: Mukherjee

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Busan (S.Korea),June 3 (ANI): Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told ANI TV on Thursday that development-related issues would be the focus of the G-20 summit talks being held here for the next three days.

"Development will be an important issue and reforms of the financial institutions giving the voices of the emerging economies these aspects are important but development is important place on the agenda of G-20 Summit," Mukherjee said

He said the meeting will certainly discuss the Euro-Greece crisis, and added that it will not effect India for the time being.

He said that only if the situation worsens in Europe, would New Delhi be affected.

He also ruled out that bank tax as a solution, and added that only fiscal stability is the solution for a robust economy to avoid a Greece-like crisis.

Mukherjee was referring to the Greek Government's move to impose huge tax hikes and drastic spending cuts.

The crisis is affecting markets far from capital Athens, even in the United States.

On Wall Street, stocks have slipped over concern that Greece's debt crisis could spread to other European countries.

Over the past month, employees have walked off the job, flights into and out of Greece have been cancelled, protestors have set fire to the finance ministry and thrown gasoline bombs into a bank.

For more than a generation, Greece has been lax over its spending, paying out salaries on the government dime, with huge holiday bonuses.

Many employees were paid as though they'd worked a 14-month year, instead of 12. That extra money gave many Greeks a road to early retirement, for some even in their 50s.

And tax evasion was not only accepted, but embraced by much of the population.

Greece now says it's getting tough with its economic problems.

Greek President George Papandreou pushed harsh spending cuts through, slashing salaries and raising the retirement age to 65.

But the country is still drowning in debt, desperate for a bailout from its European neighbors.

Some of those neighbours are asking why they should pay for Greece's mismanagement.

The G-20 finance ministers two-day meeting in Busan from Friday hopes to search for ways to tackle high debts in advanced economies so that the contagion can be prevented from engulfing rest of the world.

"Major issues likely to dominate the G-20 finance ministers' meet include the current global economic situation, problem of rising fiscal deficits and high debt/GDP ratios in advanced economies and an action plan to tackle them," an official statement said in New Delhi on Thursday.

The G-20 meeting, considered a better representative body than the rich nations' bloc of G-7, assumes importance since the Eurozone is struggling to come out of debt crisis that has already engulfed Greece, while Spain, Portugal and Ireland are on the verge of going belly up.

The crisis has accentuated the problems in the global economy, already crawling back to recovery after the global financial meltdown erupted late 2008 with the fall of the Wall Street bankers and other financial institutions. By Ravi Shankar (ANI)

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