India and the World: Short and Medium-Term Prospects by Dr. Pranab Mukherjee, Finance Minister of India
Pranab Mukherjee, Finance Minister of India
Chandrajit Banerjee, Confederation of Indian Industry
Arvind Subramanian, Peterson Institute for International Economics
C. Fred Bergsten, President Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington, DC
C. Fred Bergsten:
We apologize for the late start, but the Minister has been deeply engaged at meetings at
the IMF, and partly because of that traffic is even worse than usual, but we’re under way.
As most of you know, here at the Institute, we have a very active program on India; we
have hosted former Finance Minister Chidambaram, the current and former governors of
the Reserve Bank of India, Montek Ahluwalia, Nandan Nilekani, who was a member of
our board of directors before he joined the government, and so we’re delighted Minister
Mukherjee that you can join us today.
We look forward to hearing from you on events in the Indian economy and what the
prospects are. We’re delighted to be co-hosting this meeting today with our friends from
the Confederation of Indian Industry, whose director general will add a word of welcome
in a moment. I will also be joined on the podium, subsequently, by Ambassador Rao and
my own colleague here at the institute, our own senior fellow, Arvind Subramanian, who of
course is Indian and has been voted by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the top hundred
global thinkers and by India Today as one of the 35 masters of the mind of the last 35 years
in India. So we are delighted to have that capability on India here at the Institute.
Minister Mukherjee has an incredibly distinguished career in government and elsewhere
after having begun his career as a college professor and later as a journalist. He has
been in the Parliament in India since 1969, having been re-elected a number of times
and voted Outstanding Parliamentarian in 1997. His first cabinet post occurred in
1973; he’s not that old, as you can see, but his first cabinet post occurred in 1973. He
has been minister of ten different portfolios during that period, was Finance Minister
back in 1982 to 84 before attaining that position again more recently. He was External
Affairs Minister in the 1990s and has had a succession of responsible positions in the
government. We’re delighted to welcome you to our podium here at the Institute. I’ll
turn to our colleague Mr. Banerjee from the CII, who will then pass the podium to the
minister. Mr. Banerjee.
Chandrajit Banerjee: Thank you very much for that introduction and also thanks for partnering CII for this
very special event. Honorable Finance Minister of India, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee; Mrs.
Nirupama Rao, our Ambassador to the United States; distinguished members of the
Delegation of the Finance Minister; and ladies and gentleman, it’s great to be here for
CII, the Confederation in this institution, institution that we really value, in terms of
our partnership, which has been growing over several years and for this very special event
with our Finance Minister. We couldn’t have had a more appropriate partner today.
We have been working in several areas, be it the private secretary advisory group on the
trade policy forum and several other initiatives and really working on this particular
event when we hear our Finance Minister today, this evening, we hope to deepen our
linkage in the business front and of course, more importantly, on the track to diplomacy
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