Indian FM soul searches at home ahead of US summit

New Delhi, October 29:

Ahead of a meeting among world leaders in Washington next month on the global financial crisis, Indian finance minister P Chidambaram met with key policy makers and monetary experts here today to formulate India’s position on the subject.

“Today’s meeting was about what would be India’s response at the summit,” said C Rangarajan, a Rajya Sabha member, who was previously chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council and governor of the central bank.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor D Subbarao and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Chairman CB Bhave were among those who attended the meeting at North Block, the office of India’s finance ministry.

“A number of issues were discussed, including the position India must take at the forthcoming G20 Summit,” Subbarao told reporters here, without elaborating further.

According to top officials, the meeting also discussed the fiscal and monetary measures taken within India to address the fallout of the global crisis on the country’s financial system.

Assurances were also given to the government that financial market regulators would continue to remain vigilant and continue to take swift action as warranted, the officials added.

Last week, US President George W Bush invited leaders from 19 countries and the European Union for a summit in Washington on November 15 to understand the reasons for the crisis and put in place mechanisms and regulations to resolve the issue.

These countries are part of an informal forum that was established in 1999 to engage rich and developing countries on economic issues. The forum normally brings finance ministers and central bank governors together.

Besides India and the EU, the group comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, S Africa, S Korea, Turkey, UK and US.