Manmohan Singh to meet top industrialists Saturday on G20 summit

March 26th, 2009 - 7:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, March 26 (IANS) Some 25 leading industrialists have been invited by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here Saturday for parleys on some key issues concerning the global economy, ahead of his participation at the G20 Summit in London April 2.
Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, who will be Manmohan Singh’s key aide, or “sherpa”, at the London summit, is among the top policymakers who will also participate at the discussions, official sources said.

“The prime minister has already held a few rounds of discussions with his cabinet colleagues. He wants inputs from all the stakeholders before firming up India’s stand for the London summit,” an official in the Prime Minister’s Office said.

“In a way, the London summit and India’s own effort to tide over the economic crisis are co-related. Saturday’s meeting will give an opportunity to understand how the stimulus packages announced by the government have worked so far.”

Those invited for the parleys include K.V. Kamath, Venu Srinivasan, Sajjan Jindal, Harsh Pati Singhania, Mukesh and Anil Ambani, Rahul Bajaj, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Deepak Parekh and Kumar Mangalam Birla, officials said.

The prime minister leaves for London March 31 and returns April 3. On the margins of the G20 Summit, he is expected to meet with his British counterpart and host Gordon Brown and US President Barack Obama, among other world leaders.

India also seeks to work together with other developing countries in the G20 in a bid to find ways to nurse the global economy back to health and prevent rich nations from using the present situation to impose non-trade barriers.

“Our two countries can exchange our experiences and join the efforts to tackle international financial crisis to guard against the protectionism of developed countries,” China’s ambassador to India Zhang Yan had told reporters Thursday.

“Our countries should push for reform of international financial institutions to defend our interests,” the Chinese envoy said, even as efforts were underway for a meeting between Manmohan Singh and Chinese President Hu Jintao in London.

The G20 comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the UK, the US and the European Union.

Earlier this month, Ahluwalia had attended the meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in London, in the run up to the leaders’ summit, along with Reserve Bank of India Governor D. Subbarao.

At the meeting, which focused on the current economic meltdown, the participants broadly agreed to restore global growth and support multilateral lending, while pushing for reforms to strengthen the international financial system.

They also committed themselves to taking decisive action, where needed, and to use all available tools to restore the full functioning of the financial markets and underpin the flow of credit, both domestically and globally.

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