It is India’s century, not China’s: Kamal Nath

May 9th, 2008 - 9:57 pm ICT by admin  

New York, May 9 (IANS) The 21st century is going to be India’s, not China’s, because it is the fastest growing free market economy, Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath has said. “China’s growth rate is much better than ours today but what was it 14 years ago?” he asked while defending the title of his book, “India’s Century”.

Speaking at a discussion on his book at Asia Society here Thursday, the minister said that the form of government in India was better compared to the controlled system in China.

He also pointed out that economic reforms in India were only 17 years old while the reform process in China began three decades ago.

Among other factors that would help India, Nath said, were its vast English speaking population and its ability to produce entrepreneurs.

“In New York, many of the penthouses are owned by CEOs of Indian origin,” he pointed out. “And the phenomenon of Indian entrepreneurs’ success can be seen across the world.

“India’s strong human resource will hold the country in good stead in the 21st century which is the era of soft power.”

Underlining the importance of higher education to fuel India’s economic boom, the minister said the government was about to bring a legislation to address the problem of shortage of higher eduction avenues.

He added that indigenous institutions like the Indian School of Business were already on an expansion spree.

While agreeing that the reform process that began in 1991 could have started a bit early, Nath said that India cannot go for an absolutely capitalist system “because you cannot leave 300 million subsisting on a dollar a day to the mercy of the market forces.

“At a time of food crisis and rising food prices, it is our public distribution system that is serving the poor,” he said.

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