Hindustan Times today withdrew a Press Trust of India report on Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant’s comment on India being “too much of a democracy” for tough reforms.
The newspaper carried the PTI story on its website earlier this afternoon. It was headlined “‘Too much of democracy’ hampering reforms in India, says Amitabh Kant”.
Kant tweeted in the evening that the comment was “definitely not what I said,” adding: “I was speaking about MEIS scheme & resources being spread thin & need for creating global champions in manufacturing sector.”
The page on the HT website now opens to the banner, “”.
The PTI copy had accurately sourced the comment to an interview Kant gave to Swarajya magazine that was published today. In it, the Niti Aayog CEO stated on two separate occasions that India’s democratic polity hampered growth and reform.
, he pointed out that the Indian economy cannot merely grow because of the services or manufacturing sectors, and that it must push growth in agriculture too. “In India, we are too much of a democracy so we keep supporting everybody," he added.
In the second , Kant reiterated the claim in the context of reforms. He said: "Tough reforms are very difficult in the Indian context. We are too much of a democracy. For the first time the government has had the courage and the determination to carry out very hard-headed reforms across sectors.”
On Twitter, journalists pointed out to Kant that his denial was false.