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BW Businessworld

India To Follow Hands-Off Economic...

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"We remain committed to economic reform and liberalisation... In ancient India, a monarch was regarded as a good king if he did not interfere too much in the life of the people. That has been our guiding principle as as well," Singh told delegates of the IISS-City India Global Forum attending an international conference here.

Singh said his government was also committed to an environment of freedom "in which creativity and enterprise of our people can find its full and free expression".

Inviting overseas investors to bring in more funds into the country, he said globalisation was both a challenge and an opportunity and India would like to be "an active participant in the process of globalisation".

The Prime Minister's assurance to the investors assumes importance in the wake of Left parties, which support the UPA government from outside, launching an agitation against the government, which they said, was promoting "monsters of market forces".

The Left parties have been staging street protests against inflation which has crossed the 7-per cent mark. They also joined the Opposition in attacking the government in Parliament on the same issue of spiralling prices.

The Prime Minister asked the overseas investors to stay invested in the country, "because for India the best is yet to come".

Quoting British economist J. M. Keynes who had said that investment was an act of faith, the Prime Minister said, "I invite you to have faith in India." The country has followed a "successful strategy" of reintegrating into the world economy, he added. He said the policy of liberalisation has moved forward since 1991 despite changes in the government over the past 17 years.

"Different political parties have come to power in Delhi but none has reversed the direction of policy we initiated in 1991. India is today more globally integrated and is confident about its future," he said.