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Exclusive: “India Story Setting Davos On Fire,” Smriti Irani Tells

Smriti Irani in an interview with NDTV on the India story at DavosDavos: Union Minister Smriti Irani in an interview with NDTV said the "India story" is "setting Davos on fire" as four ministers, including herself, work to highlight the strengths of India's economy and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's agenda."It is fascinating to see that…

Smriti Irani in an interview with NDTV on the India story at Davos

Davos:

Union Minister Smriti Irani in an interview with NDTV said the “India story” is “setting Davos on fire” as four ministers, including herself, work to highlight the strengths of India’s economy and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s agenda.

“It is fascinating to see that the India story is setting Davos on fire,” Ms Irani told NDTV on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Switzerland’s Davos.

Ms Irani, the Minister of Women and Child Development and Minority Affairs, said India has made a strong “economic case” for gender justice in Davos, in line with what her ministry does.

“We in totality represent the ethos that on the altar of reforms and growth, you do not have to sacrifice inclusivity. India has made an economic case for gender justice. We do not look at gender from the perspective of emancipation and empowerment, as they give an indication as if women are waiting for handouts,” Ms Irani said.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made a case very strongly that when you invest in women-led development, you invest in a stronger economy, you invest in a stronger purpose to fuel your country’s healthcare sector, your country’s education sector because it has been historically proven that when a woman’s purchasing power, and consumption power involve a scale, then she tends to spend more of her money on these two important segments,” Ms Irani said.

India’s presence at Davos is huge this time with three other ministers of important sectors, apart from Ms Irani, presenting the country’s growth story. Railway Minister Vaishnaw, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and Power Minister RK Singh shoulder big responsibilities as the world over nations compete for the best path to growth.

Ms Irani said earlier governments had been indecisive on reforms and the political environment had been unstable before 2014, the year Narendra Modi became Prime Minister.

“The decisive win of PM Modi gave him room for reforms. The regime change brought forth India’s potential,” she told NDTV.

“Leadership is about addressing challenges of the future…We are competitive, yet collaborative…I do not speak just because Congress wants me to speak; the Congress can’t get over the fact that I defeated Rahul (Gandhi),” Ms Irani said, referring to when she defeated Mr Gandhi, who was then Congress chief, from Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi in the 2019 general election. Mr Gandhi’s defeat at the place known as the Gandhi family’s stronghold till then had starkly demarcated the extent of the Congress’s setback in the Lok Sabha election.

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