India hopes G20 summit will lead to new global surveillance system (Lead)

November 15th, 2008 - 12:17 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Nov 14 (IANS) Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived here Friday for a summit of the world’s 20 biggest economies with hopes that it would lead to a new global surveillance system and prevent a future financial crisis.Manmohan Singh said before leaving for Washington that India would lay stress on ensuring that the growth prospects of the developing countries do not suffer and the need to avoid protectionist tendencies as the Group of 20 leaders meet here Saturday.

“I will put forward our views on the need for greater inclusivity in the international financial system, the need to ensure that the growth prospects of the developing countries do not suffer, and the need to avoid protectionist tendencies” the prime minister said.

India would also seek a strengthening of the international institutions, both the IMF and the World Bank and regional development banks “to ensure that the fallout on the developing countries of the global crisis is minimal”, Manmohan Singh added.

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram who is accompanying the prime minister told newspersons on board the flight to Washington that as the global leaders put their heads together to resolve the crisis, they “must agree to a new order of global oversight”.

“A more inclusive system can provide better surveillance and serve as an early warning mechanism,” he said.

Chidambaram also maintained that if there was effective surveillance, it could have identified and prevented the risks which some large international financial entities were taking, exacerbating the financial tsunami.

“In the absence of such a surveillance mechanism, these financial entities, some of which have collapsed, took unacceptable risks,” he said, adding: “That’s what led to the crisis in the US.”

Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, who will be Manmohan Singh’s sherpa at the summit, had a bilateral meeting Thursday with Dan Price, assistant to the US president for International Economic Affairs.

The discussions with summit host President George W. Bush’s sherpa “focused on the issues before the summit”, an Indian official said.

Separately, Department of Economic Affairs Secretary Ashok Chawla Thursday participated in the meeting of the Finance Deputies involved in preparing the summit outcome.

Ahluwalia also met former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Republican Congressman Jim Leach, who have been nominated by US President-elect Barack Obama to meet foreign delegations at the summit to open communication between the next US administration and the visiting world leaders.

Ahluwalia had an exchange of views with the Obama team on issues related to the current international economic and financial crisis, the summit, and also bilateral relations, an Indian embassy official said.

“Secretary Albright conveyed that the President-elect attached high priority to the further strengthening of relations between India and the US,” he said.

Obama, who takes office Jan 20, has said that since a country can only have one president at a time, he would not take part in the summit hosted by Bush or meet foreign leaders on the sidelines of the meeting.

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