India to continue liberal policies: PM

India to continue liberal policies: PM
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First Published: Sat, Apr 19 2008. 12 08 AM IST
Updated: Sat, Apr 19 2008. 12 08 AM IST
New Delhi: Amid increasing criticism by Left parties against free market forces in the wake of the recent price rise, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Friday that his government has followed “hands-off” policies and will remain committed to liberalization.
“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 well,” Singh told delegates at an international conference.
The Prime Minister 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 globalization was both a challenge and an opportunity and India would like to be “an active participant in the process of globalization.”
Singh’s assurance to the investors assumes importance in the wake of Left parties, which support the United Progressive Alliance government from outside, launching an agitation against the government, which they say is promoting “monsters of market forces”.
The Left parties have been staging street protests over inflation that has crossed 7% in recent weeks.
They, along with the opposition, also attacked the government in Parliament on the issue of rising prices.
The Prime Minister asked overseas investors to stay invested in the country “because for India, the best is yet to come".
Quoting economist John Maynard 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 said.
Singh said the policy of liberalization has moved forward since 1991 despite changes in the government in 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.”
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First Published: Sat, Apr 19 2008. 12 08 AM IST