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Labour mobility, climate change top agenda at G20: Arvind Panagariya


New Delhi, Aug 8 India will take up the issue of international labour mobility particularly of professional workers, besides raising the topic of climate change at the G20 forum, Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya said today.

arvind panagariya

He also sought to allay fears on India's growth front, saying it is growing at around 7.5 per cent as compared to China's 6 per cent. Panagariya is India's Sherpa for the forum.

"...G20 agenda is very wide-ranging... In the area of growth, one of the things I would emphasise that don't be so pessimistic, at least India is growing at 7.5 per cent. China, though its growth reduced at 6 per cent, is still USD 10 trillion economy, so 6 per cent growth means USD 600 billion," Panagariya said.

"We are also pushing the issue of climate change. I would also like to emphasise on the international mobility particularly of professional workers," he said on the sidelines of an event organised by industry body CII.

China is the Chair of the G20, which is a grouping of the developed and developing nations, and deliberates on important issues concerning the world. The G20 Hangzhou Summit in 2016 will be held on 4-5 September with a theme 'Towards an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy'.

Talking about the government's 15-year vision document beginning 2017-18 fiscal, which will replace the Nehruvian five-year planning system followed over six decades, Panagariya said, "Niti Aayog has started work on the document. We have larger number of consultations."

"Various chapters have to be assigned to advisors. There is some urgency to proceed, at the same time we do not want to compromise on the quality of document," Panagariya added. Asked whether there is any probability that the government will merge the rail budget with the general budget, he said," It's a possibility next year."

Recently, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had written a letter to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley seeking an end to the age-old practice of presenting a separate budget for railways by merging it with the general Budget.

Speaking at the event, Panagariya, who was Chief Economist at the Asian Development Bank (ADB), noted that Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is the most important scheme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "We can't become developed nation without becoming a clean nation," he added.

Panagariya further said that India has a lot to do on the jobs front as more than 90 per cent of the country's workforce is in informal sector and not well paid. The Niti Aayog Vice Chairman said the country needs to take up all aspects of human and social development.


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