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Tamil Nadu man asks Jaishankar on Centre-state tussle. 'I don't,' says minister

Written by  Published in Special Tuesday, 21 February 2017 06:25
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Taking about ease of living in India, Jaishankar said when he joined the foreign service, his relatives said they now have at least someone who can help them in passports. “That's how they actually viewed our job,” Jaishankar said.

Foreign affairs minister S Jaishankar said he does not comment on Indian politics when he is abroad as the minister was interacting with the Indian community in Bangkok. A man who said he is also from Tamil Nadu asked the foreign minister about the Centre-state conflict in reference to Tamil Nadu. "I don't get into Indian politics when I go abroad. You want to ask me that question, come to India and I will be very happy to answer," Jaishankar said.

The foreign minister was asked many questions during the interactive session including on India-Thailand relationship, Aatmanirbhar Bharat, ease of doing business, Indian universities, India's buying of Russian oil despite the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war etc.

Talking about ease of business and ease of living in India, the minister said processes are being simplified by cutting the paperwork. "There was a time when issuing passports in India used to take months, even over a year.. When we joined the Indian Foreign Service, ambassador Swaminathan would recollect, our relatives said 'at least now we know someone who would help us with passports'. That's how they viewed our job. Then many months became a few months and now it's a few days," Jaishankar said.

"Business world today is extremely bullish about where India is going. And some of it is visible in stock marker. Even the FDI figures a good story," the foreign minister said.

On Chinese products 'flooding' the Indian market, Jaishankar said it was the right thing to open the economy in the '90s as there was too much state control, the economy was not competitive, but the business houses started importing more and more from other countries. "Not only China, if you look at Korea, Japan, they built their economies by having a supply chain within the country. So business houses relied on their in-house supplies. The kind of support the MSMEs should have got in India did not take have to give people an alternative..It will happen when there are good Indian products. Aatmanirbhar Bharat is also about overcoming the colonial mentality," Jaishankar said. Source : ht

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