Harper on India

The Prime Minister considers the political situation in New Delhi.

Mr. Harper, who this week urged India in a speech to work harder and faster on trade deals, on Thursday said he realized New Delhi was proceeding as fast as it could. “Are we frustated? I am very clear we need to go farther and faster,” the prime minister told reporters in Bangalore after celebrating the opening of an IMAX cinema. “In my conversations with Indian leaders, they reflect exactly the same thing.”

He said Indian politicians share his concern but are hamstrung by a coalition government and the need to win approval from partners. “What we do have to realize when we deal with India as opposed to some other countries we’re dealing with in the developing word: this country is a democracy,” the prime minister said. “And that means governments cannot simply dictate a whole set of policy changes to happen the next day. That means governments must develop public consensus behind policy change.”

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