India needs more reforms, states must take lead: Kant

Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant on Tuesday said it is difficult to carry out tough reforms in India as there is ”too much of democracy”, and emphasised that more reforms need to be done to make the country competitive.

Addressing a virtual event organised by Swarajya magazine, Kant said for the first time, the Centre has carried out hard reforms across sectors, including mining, coal, labour, agriculture, and the next wave of reforms must be pushed by the states.

“Tough reforms are very difficult in the Indian context, we have too much of democracy…You needed political will to carry out these reforms (mining, coal, labour, agriculture) and many more reforms still need to be done,” he said.

It is not easy to compete against China without hard reforms, Kant said.

“This government has demonstrated political will to carry out hard reforms,” he added.

The Niti Aayog CEO stressed that the next wave of reforms must come from states.

“If 10-12 states will grow at higher rates, then there is no reason why Indian won”t grow at higher rates. We have asked union territories to privatise discoms. Discoms must become far more competitive and provide cheap power,” he said.

Replying to a question on protests by farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, against the Centre”s new farm laws, Kant said the agriculture sector needs reforms.

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