Ahluwalia meets Chinese official

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Montek Singh Ahluwalia
Montek Singh Ahluwalia

Pallavi Aiyar

Dialogue on energy discussed

Beijing: India hopes to develop an institutional mechanism for a high-level dialogue between the Planning Commission and its Chinese counterpart, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). To this end Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Planning Commission's Deputy Chairperson, paid a quick two-day visit to Beijing from April 25-26.

While in the Chinese capital, Mr. Ahluwalia met NDRC Executive Vice-Chairman Zhu Zhixin, and discussed the possibility of institutionalising a dialogue on energy and other areas of commonality between the two countries. The NDRC has agreed to consider the proposal.

The purpose of the dialogue would be to share information on the manner in which the neighbouring countries, which are also two of the world's fastest growing economies, plan to meet the challenges of sustainable and energy efficient development. "We underestimate the value of simply knowing what the other is doing," explained Mr. Ahluwalia.

China has already developed some ambitious internal targets to reduce energy consumption per unit of output by 4 per cent. Although the country failed to meet this target last year, Mr. Ahluwalia said India could learn much from such a focussed approach.

Mr. Ahluwalia also held talks with top officials in the Railway and Education sectors. The innovative manner in which China has reformed both these sectors over the last decade offers lessons for India to keep in mind during the drafting of India's 11th Five-Year Plan later this year, Mr. Ahluwalia said.

Mr. Ahluwalia's China visit comes on the heels of a trip to Japan during which a major memorandum of understanding in the energy sector was signed between the two countries.



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