New Delhi/Washington – India expressed hope that leaders at the G20 summit would agree on an economic stimulus package to arrest recessionary tendencies and restore normalcy in major economies, news reports said Saturday.
Actions should be taken to mitigate the effects of a global economic downturn, and protectionist policies should be avoided as a solution, India’s Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia was quoted as saying in Washington by IANS and PTI news agencies.
Ahluwalia is a key aide to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the summit of the world’s 20 leading economies which together account for 90 per cent of the global economy. He was talking to reporters after a dinner hosted by US President George W Bush on Friday.
“What we are calling for is a coordinated fiscal stimulus. We have to see what response that elicits tomorrow, but it’s certainly our view that if we are facing the most serious crisis in the world economy since the Great Depression, then we need to take a lot of possibly unorthodox and special steps,” Ahluwalia told reporters.
He said he hoped Saturday’s summit on the global economy and financial markets would end with a strong statement of support for fiscal stimuli that would boost confidence in the world’s economies.
The fight against protectionism and the issue of world trade talks also should be on the summit agenda, Ahluwalia said.
“History teaches us that when you face recession, protectionism increases. But relapsing into protectionism, particularly in industrial countries, would be damaging to the economy,” he said.
Ahluwalia also said India strongly believed an agreement was needed at the summit on reforming global financial institutions like the World Bank and the IMF, and evolving a new financial architecture to take care of the needs of the developing and poor countries. (dpa)