Saturday, July 24, 2021

Who Should Get Credit for Economic Reforms? Manmohan Singh or P.V.Narasimha Rao

Who Should Get Credit for the Economic Reforms? Is it Manmohan Singh or P.V.Narasimha Rao?

When Chandrasekhar became P.M., he realized the economic situation, and tried to get a good economist. He asked I.G.Patel to take up the post of the Finance Minister. But, he rejected.

Later he got, Yashwant Sinha, who wrote a great reforming budget (almost on the lines of Manmohan Singh). But, few days before the budget, Rajiv Gandhi asked Chandrasekar to present only Vote on Account Budget, and not full fledged budget. And, that budget never saw the light of the day.

Even if it was not Yashwant Sinha, there was Subramanian Swamy in Chandrasekhar's Cabinet, who was for the economic Reforms.

Eventhough, Chandrasekhar, Yashwant Sinha and Subramanian Swamy were ready to reform, the supporter Rajiv Gandhi was not ready.

After P.V.Narasimha Rao became Prime Minister, it is widely believed that, he offered the post of the Finance Minister first to I.G.Patel, who rejected it.

Later it was offered to Manmohan Singh and everyone calls that as the Masterstroke, and Manmohan Singh alone changed the course of the country.

The dismantling of elimination of the license raj was not part of the Ministry of Finance. But, it was part of the Ministry of Industry. Who was the Cabinet Minister of Industry? It was P.V.Narasimha Rao himself.

Another famous economist P.Chidambaram was a commerce minister during the first year of P.V., who had done significant contribution in the economic reforms.

On the other hand, Manmohan Singh has been working for a long long time in the Government of India. He worked under Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and even with Chandrasekhar. Why there was no reform during that much long period? How come the significant reform happened within the first two months of P.V.Narasimha Rao's tenure as the Prime Minister?

P.V.Narasimha Rao had many options open at every level. If Manmohan Singh had rejected the post of the Finance Minister, he could have brought somebody else to reform the economy.

But, if there were no P.V.Narasimha Rao, there would not have been any economic reforms at that time.

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