The PM made the comments during his bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting on the sidelines of the SCO conference earlier this year.
During a session at the Times Now Summit 2022, Kant who is India’s key interlocutor at the forum shared how the Sherpas spent five days seeking to bridge the gap between Russia and the others and how India, led by Modi, played a key role in evolving a consensus.
“Nineteen of the 20 members said this statement is critical, it sends out a message, which is important in today’s times. Everybody endorsed it but China backed out,” he said, while also recounting how there were a lot of behind the scene discussions with Russia to accept the text where external affairs minister S Jaishankar was closely involved.
Asked about India taking over the G20 presidency, Kant said that it comes at a very critical time when the world is grappling with multiple challenges as it emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic and is tackling the impact of geo-political tensions.
“Due to Covid, many people have been pushed backwards, there has been an impact on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), there is a huge challenge of global debt and there is a huge China challenge because it has given debt which is opaque,” he said while pointing to the tension between China and Taiwan, which could further disrupt the supply chain.
The former civil servant said that the agenda will include ways to accelerate growth, push SDGs, and how other countries could learn from India’s model of digital transformation, through opening of bank accounts and direct benefit transfer.
While maintaining that the building blocks for growth were in place, Kant called for accelerating the pace of reforms, devising ways to urbanise in a sustainable manner, ensuring that a dozen states, especially the large ones such as Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, grow at a rapid pace and easing rules for businesses were crucial.