Too much democracy in India making tough reforms hard, says Niti Aayog chief Amitabh Kant

In a controverisal statement, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant on Tuesday (December 8) said that “tough” reforms are “very difficult in the Indian context,” as “we are too much of a democracy”. He, however, added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre has shown “courage” and “determination” in pushing such tough reforms in different sectors, including agriculture.

Addressing an online event, ‘The Road to Atmanirbhar Bharat’, Kant backed the new farm laws and asserted that these reforms should be implemented for the development of the country.

Responding to a query on whether India should become global leader in manufacturing, the NITI Aayog CEO said, “So tough reforms are very difficult in the Indian context, we are too much of a democracy. For the first time, the government has had the courage and the determination to carry out very hard-headed reforms across sectors… mining, coal, labour, agriculture… these are very, very difficult reforms… You needed a huge amount of political determination and administrative will to carry out these reforms which are being done.”

He added, “Agriculture must get reforms. It’s very important to understand this, that the present reforms, nobody is saying that we do away with the mandis, the mandis will exist, the MSP will be there. But (a) farmer gets alternate choices (to sell his crop). I am a great believer that the farmer must have a choice. Why should we force (him) to only go to one place, we give you opportunity to go to five other places. Somebody gives you more than the MSP, why should the farmer not get it? That is the objective of the reforms.”

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