25 Apr 2017 14:46 IST

India may not bid for hosting G-20 Summit in 2019

With the General Elections due that year, it is not possible to host the conference

India has decided to bow out of bidding for hosting the G-20 Summit in 2019 due to the General Elections to be held in the same year.

Sources said while India was keen to host the Summit of the Group of 20 countries, including the US, European Union, UK and France, it would not be possible in an election year.

“The decision has been taken at a political level. We will see when the next time India is eligible to host it,” said a person familiar with the development.

Aware that 2019 is the year for General Elections, the government was earlier keen to host the summit in 2018 and is understood to have initiated discussions with some members on the issue. However, in June last year, the member-countries approved Argentina’s Presidency of G-20 for 2018.

The chance to host the G-20 summit is rotated amongst all member-nations, which are divided into five groups or buckets. Member countries of one group or bucket can bid for hosting the prestigious summit every year.

India is in Group Two along with Russia, South Africa and Turkey. While China (Group Five) held the Presidency for G-20 for 2016, Germany of Group Four will host it in 2017.

Officials pointed out that elections are also being held in Germany this year but the date of the summit is not clashing with the same.

“Further, India is a large country and it was felt that hosting a conference of this magnitude may not be possible in an election year, which has various restrictions,” noted a source.

Hosting the G-20 Summit is seen as a matter of pride and prestige for member-nations. The event witnesses a large influx of foreign visitors and requires huge infrastructure and preparations.

In the past, India has hosted several multi-lateral meets, including the Commonwealth Games, International Monetary Fund’s Advancing Asia Conference, Eighth BRICS Summit as well as the more recent Annual Meeting of the New Development Bank.

In March, India also hosted the third meeting of the G20 Framework Working Group (FWG) in Varanasi.

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