Monday, September 6, 2010


Date: 6 September 2010 

      A G-20 Speakers' Consultation - Presiding Officers of the Upper and Unicameral Houses of the G-20 was held in Ottawa, Canada from 2-5 September, 2010.  The conference deliberated on the sub themes of (i) Global collaborative strategies to meet the need for food production and distribution; (ii) New paradigms for peace and food security; and (iii) Global financial and economic models for advancing global economic stability.
2. Shri Rahman Khan,Deputy Chairman,Rajya Sabha made a presentation on the theme "Global financial and economic models for advancing global economic stability." Dwelling upon the global economic crisis he mentioned that it has deeply impacted the national economies of both the developed and the developing world.  He called for a greater coordination of policies and efforts among the G-20 countries.  He felt that the central problem is how to ensure sustained global growth recovery at a time when markets have become very nervous about debt sustainability.
3. Highlighting India's response to the global economic crisis Shri Khan pointed out that financial stability in India has been achieved through  prudent policies which prevent institutions from excessive risk taking and financial markets from becoming extremely volatile and turbulent.  The coordination achieved by the Government of India and the Reserve Bank of India in making the right mix of monetary and fiscal policies, significant domestic savings, plus domestic reforms of the productive sectors, was also mentioned by Shri Khan.
4. Shri Khan reiterated the commitment of India to the well being of the people, especially the poor and the deprived. He made a reference to the "talisman" of   Mahatma Gandhi  where he advised that "whenever you are in doubt, recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man whom you may have seen and ask yourself, if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him". He called for a need to see beyond the bounds of narrow horizons of self interest and for formulation of an economic model based on Gandhian philosophy of concern and empathy for the poor.
5. Highlighting the need to build a sustainable development model based on Gandhian approach of enlightened unselfish ethical life of plain living and high thinking, He emphasized the need for the advanced world to reduce consumption and simplify life.
6. Expressing his views on  global collaborative strategies to meet the need for food production and distribution, Shri Khan mentioned that India has been consciously pursuing a high growth path in order to achieve the key objectives of rural regeneration, poverty alleviation, inclusiveness and sustainable development.  .
7. On the issue of peace and food security, Shri Khan said that hunger is a predominant theme in the discourse of peace and development. He pointed out that India attained self-sufficiency in food grain production by 1971. Reflecting upon India's approach he said that huge public investment in agrarian infrastructure, land reforms, introduction of high yield seed varieties and numerous other measures have over the years enabled the country to address the challenge of hunger and poverty.  He concluded by referring to Mahatma Gandhi's words again  that "there are people in the world so hungry, that God can not appear to them except in the form of bread." He observed that it is a formidable challenge and that the task is fairly cut out for all stakeholders.

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