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Page last updated at 16:21 GMT, Friday, 15 May 2009 17:21 UK

If I were prime minister: Monika Kochhar

India will be holding elections over the course of one month from 16 April.

BBC News asked people from all corners of the world's largest democracy what they would do if they were prime minister.

MONIKA KOCHHAR, ECONOMIST, CHANDIGARH

Monika Kochhar
If I were prime minister, I would engage in the growth of the country from the bottom up. I would allocate more funding to privately-owned, locally- based micro-financing projects.

Such initiatives have been very successful in developing communities and mobilising women.

The infrastructure of the country is in need of major refurbishment. I would actually spend the money that is allocated for structural reforms and not pocket it for personal gains.

Some level of corruption is natural in a largely impoverished country. However, India is marred with low-level corruption, bribes are customary to get a telephone line, a water pump or residential land. I would implement strict checks to ensure that such practises end.

A middle class person spends half of his or her life worrying about these things. The offenders should be brought to justice starting with politicians.

The prime minister should remember that the greatest strength of India is its people, their collective faith and their perseverance.




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