Brisbane, Nov 16: After making a strong plea for coordination between all nations to face challenges of black money,terrorism,drug trafficking and arms smuggling on the first day of G20 summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Brisbane on Sunday.
Addressing a small and selected gathering, Modi said: “I’m grateful to the Brisbane Mayor for such beautiful reception.”
Talking about Mahatma Gandhi, the Prime Minister said that non-violence was an article of faith for Mahatma Gandhi, who always opposed exploitation of nature.
He said: “When Mahatma Gandhi stayed at Sabarmati Ashram the river was full of water. Yet even that time he scolded people for wasting water,” adding “If we hadn’t exploited mother nature and have followed the way Gandhi showed us, the situation wouldn’t have been this grave.”
Modi added: “If we look at the problems world is facing, Gandhi’s teachings seem to be the only solution.”
Earlier, the Prime Minister expressed India’s support for a new global standard on automatic exchange of information, which would be instrumental in getting information about unaccounted money hoarded abroad and enable it’s eventual repatriation.
Modi was making an intervention during the G20 session on Delivering Global Economic Resilience. He said he supported all initiatives to facilitate exchange of information and mutual assistance in tax policy and administration.
Noting that increased mobility of capital and technology have created new opportunities for avoiding tax and profit shifting, the Prime Minister said he urged every jurisdiction, especially tax havens, to provide information for tax purposes in accordance with treaty obligations.
The Prime Minister reiterated his call for close policy coordination among major economies, saying this is important not just for also addressing the challenge of black money, but also for security issues like terrorism, drug trafficking, arms smuggling etc.
He said although all countries have their domestic priorities, coordinated decisions would “help us all” in the long run. He said the resilience of the global financial system will also depend on cyber security.
PM’s informal meeting of BRICS leaders
The Prime Minister on Saturday said repatriation of unaccounted money from abroad was a key priority for his government. He was making an intervention at the meeting of BRICS leaders ahead of the G20 summit in Brisbane. He said unaccounted money abroad posed both economic and security challenges.
The Prime Minister said this G20 meeting was happening in the shadow of continued weak global economic growth. He said political turbulence in many parts of the world, and the Ebola pandemic were also factors of concern. Therefore, he said, there is need for a positive environment to achieve economic goals, and G20 can support this effort. He said there is a strong need to give a message to revive economic confidence and boost growth and job creation.
The Prime Minister also stressed on the need for better international policy coordination, and the need to reform global economic institutions. He suggested the creation of a digital hub for sharing of information and best practices for infrastructure.
The Prime Minister also held bilateral meetings with the President of France, Francois Hollande, and the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper.
This was the first time he met both leaders, and both of them invited him to visit their countries.
The Prime Minister has accepted both invitations. In his meeting with Harper, he condemned the recent attack on the Canadian Parliament.
In both meetings, the Prime Minister reiterated his stand that religion should be delinked from terrorism.
Reform experience and thrust forward
Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an intervention during the Retreat for G20 leaders, on the subject “Reform Experience and Thrust Forward.”
He was invited to speak on the subject and share his vision of reform, based on his own experiences, by Tony Abbott, the Prime Minister of Australia.
In his intervention, the Prime Minister stressed that reforms cannot be done by stealth, but have to be people-driven and people-centric. He said reforms should take into account the issues being faced by people.
He emphasized that reforms cannot be superficial, but should take into account the root causes of the issues involved. Only then can reforms be durable and long-lasting, he added. In this context, the Prime Minister illustrated by talking of a link between water availability and power.
He said farmers often need cheap power to extract groundwater, because water is not otherwise available. However, if water is made available to them, then farmers may no longer require subsidized power. Hence the reform process could move forward taking into account root causes.
The Prime Minister said there is bound to be resistance to reform, and therefore, it is essential to insulate the reform process from politics. He stressed that reform should be an institutionalized process.
The Prime Minister said reforms should lead to simplification of processes, and should also involve improvements in governance processes.
(Goindianews Bureau/PIB Inputs)