Singh wants visa curbs lifted, easier development funds
Sep 06 2013 , St Petersburg
Making an intervention at the second working session of the G20 summit here, Singh said international labour mobility in high-end skills has become an important aspect of global integration across countries. Pending the evolution of international agreements in this area, developed countries must desist from restrictive practices. His obvious reference was to the US curbs on deployment of IT professionals and recent visa curbs by the UK.
Singh said all G20 member nations were agreed that growth and job creation should be the central message of this summit.
He said India was pursuing a massive skills development programme to ensure that its young citizens found gainful employment and both contribute to, and benefit from, economic growth. All developing countries must emphasise skill development, he said, arguing that there was room for learning from international experience, including that of industrialised countries.
He said that small and medium enterprises had a leading role to play in creating jobs, while noting that several industrialised countries were taking steps to increase the flow of credit to small and medium enterprises. Directed credit policies had been followed by many developing countries, and such experiences must be shared, he said.
He also said investment in infrastructure was a key instrument for growth and job creation in developing countries. He said developed countries needed to show the same innovativeness in devising unconventional development financing as they had shown in unconventional monetary policy.
Singh said the World Bank and ADB could create a special window for financing infrastructure development, including for ongoing projects that faced a sudden scarcity of funds owing to volatile capital flows. The aim should be to create flexible mechanisms that not only maintain the flow of infrastructure financing at times when other investments were slowing down, but actually expand such investments to play a counter cyclical role.
International financial institutions can often leverage greater private flows to infrastructure. All this would involve additional capital. He hoped the G-20 would give a signal that “we are willing to provide the necessary capital.”