Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday pitched for a greater representation of Indians in top leadership positions at the International Monetary Fund, even as its chief Christine Lagarde hoped an Indian will "one day" head the global body.
In a meeting with Lagarde, who is on a two-day India visit, Modi "emphasised the need to have greater representation for Indians at the higher level of IMF, particularly at the deputy MD level".
Earlier in the day, Lagarde had said during an event that "one of these days" an Indian can head the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
"I hope one of these days. I can't tell you when. One day of course," she said in reply to a query on when an Indian could head the IMF.
Among Indians having held senior positions at IMF, RBI governor Raghuram Rajan was chief economist, while Arvind Subramanian, currently India's chief economic advisor, has also previously served as an economist at the multilateral lending institution.
While Lagarde is from France, her predecessor Dominique Strauss Kahn at IMF was also from the same country. Traditionally, the position of IMF's MD has been held by a European, although there have been pressure in past few years from emerging countries from Asia and Latin America to change this trend.
During her meeting with the Prime Minister later in the day, Lagarde "complimented the government on the focused way in which it has been working to revive the economy", according to a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office.
During the meeting, Modi "stressed the importance of having a clear direction and focus" and said reforms are not restricted to legislation alone, and implementation and direction are equally important.
"He said that his focus, while promoting growth, is to create jobs, have inclusive growth, and focus on development of backward regions in eastern and north-eastern India. This region is rich in natural and human resources and we need to capitalise on this. The priority is on all fronts – agriculture, manufacturing and services," the statement said.
Lagarde told the Prime Minister that the results of the government's work were visible and India's growth rate has crossed 7.5 per cent.
"It is the bright spot in the global economy," she said and expressed hope that India would continue on this growth path.
Lagarde also called on President Pranab Mukherjee and met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.