New Delhi : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh heads for the G20 Summit in Cannes in the French Riviera Wednesday, with a somewhat limited role for India this time due to the primary focus of the leaders expected on resolving the Eurozone crisis.
Like in the past five summits at Washington, London, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Seoul, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia will be the prime minister's sherpa, or chief interlocutor, during this event as well, Thursday and Friday.
The prime minister returns Saturday. His other engagements are being worked out.
"This year, this is not an issue on which there is much of an India focus," Ahluwalia told a pre-summit briefing here. "It is an annual event, and it will get dominated by issues related to the management of the global economy and the Eurozone crisis."
This will also be the first time the Eurozone crisis will figure at a G20 Summit and provide an occasion for the leaders to express a view on the measures taken by some European nations on the crisis in the region that is threatening to spill over.
Ahluwalia said policymakers in India and China, who co-chair an initiative called the mutual assessment process, will nevertheless have inputs for the leaders on how the fiscal policies of members fit together to collectively achieve the G20's goals.
"The mutual assessment process also includes four Eurozone countries -- Germany, Italy, France and Spain -- and it, of course, includes other countries, including China and India," he said.
"This process will come forth with what would be regarded as the policy priorities in each of these countries which could bring about or create the global condition for the revival of global growth."
In the past India had played a significant role at G20 Summits on issues such as reform of the Bretton Woods twins, greater voting rights for emerging economies like India in the International Monetary Fund and bringing the focus on development agenda.
The G20, originally formed at the level of finance ministers and central bank governors in 1999 after the East Asian economic crisis, assumed significance after its elevation to a summit-level forum in 2008, following the global financial crisis.
Besides India and host France, the G20 comprises Brazil, US, Canada, China, Argentina, Australia, South Korea, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, Britain, and the European Union.
These members collectively account for 80 percent of the global economy and two-thirds of the world population. (IANS)