While talking about tough reforms, Amitabh Kant said, "Tough reforms are very difficult in the Indian context. We are too much of a democracy."
In a now-deleted article in the Hindustan Times, there was a story about NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, titled ''Too much of democracy hampering reforms in India, says Kant." In a video clip shared on Swarajya magazine's YouTube channel, Kant said at one place (33:00 minutes), "Tough reforms are very difficult in the Indian context. We are too much of a democracy. For the first time, the government has had the courage and the determination to carry out very hard-headed reforms across sectors – mining, coal, labor, agriculture. These are very difficult reforms. The easier reforms were done away with." This was in response to the moderator asking about the center's policies for the manufacturing sector amid the pandemic, as well as if the crisis was a “second chance” for India to make its mark.
Subsequently, the NITI Aayog CEO had quote tweeted the story—sourced from news agency PTI—saying, "This is definitely not what I said. I was speaking about MEIS scheme & resources being spread thin & need for creating global champions in manufacturing sector."