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Process of economic reforms incomplete, fresh thinking needed: Manmohan Singh

The policy should be a judicious mix of both high rate of economic growth and a strong focus on containing economic inequalities, said Manmohan Singh, considered the architect of the economic liberalisation measures unleashed in 1991.

By: PTI | Bengaluru | Updated: October 5, 2017 6:09 am
Manmohan Singh, economy, economic reforms, Manmohan Singh economy, economic policy, liberalisation, GST, Planning commission, Former prime minister Manmohan Singh  was speaking at the inauguration of the academic session of ‘Bengaluru Dr B R Ambedkar School of Economics’. (File photo)

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said the process of economic reforms he was associated with was “still incomplete” and that a “fresh thinking” was needed to evolve a new design for the country’s social and economic policy.

The policy should be a judicious mix of both high rate of economic growth and a strong focus on containing economic inequalities, said Singh, considered the architect of the economic liberalisation measures unleashed in 1991.

Noting that the opening of new opportunities for people born without social and economic privileges was the beacon behind economic reforms he was associated with, he said the process was still incomplete, and “we need fresh thinking.”

“Development planning and the Planning Commission were designed to ensure that while our economy grew, inequalities did not grow. With the abolition of the Planning Commission fresh efforts have to be made to keep inequality under control,” Singh said.

He was speaking at the inauguration of the academic session of ‘Bengaluru Dr B R Ambedkar School of Economics’ here.

He said the economic liberalisation that he was associated with in 1991-96 and 2004-2014 was above all the process of opening of new opportunities for people born without social and economic privileges. Singh was the finance minister in the Narasimha Rao government during 1991-96 and the prime minister for a 10-year period from 2004.

Singh said “this was for me the guiding beacon behind our economic reforms.”

“I must confess that the process is still incomplete and we need a lot of fresh thinking to work out a new design for our social and economic policy which will be a judicious mix of both high rate of economic growth and a strong focus on containing the growth of economic inequalities, and working actively to reduce so,” he said.

Former RBI Governor and Chairman Madras School of Economics Dr C Rangarajan, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and others were present at the inauguration of the academic session that began with 50 students.

Singh noted that the institution was named after B R Ambedkar who was a great legal luminary, a great economist and a social reformer.

The former prime minister called on the faculty and students to pay special attention to the study of ideas and ideals which were dear to Ambedkar.

He expressed hope that the scholars coming out of the institution will make a “distinguished contribution in working out a new design of our social and economic policies for a cohesive and inclusive growth.”

Singh said it should be combined with the high rate of economic growth, employment generation at a phase “which is robust enough to get rid of unemployment in a reasonable period of time, protect our environment, control of pollution of our natural resource like land, water and air, and having a due regard to the quest of social justice and equality.”

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  1. A
    Asoka
    Oct 6, 2017 at 6:44 pm
    No matter what this moron Arun Jaitely has as explanation, we all know Dr. MMS has better visibility and experience in the economic affairs of the country. Time to kick out this bunch of uneducated morons and s having no experience in running the affairs of the country.
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    1. B
      bhimsen
      Oct 6, 2017 at 3:00 pm
      Seeing your connivance in thwarting CAG report to PAC during the time of elections, I wish you are not accorded a state funeral. The worst corrupt PM of India who worked for cronies and foreigners.
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      1. M
        mtv
        Oct 6, 2017 at 9:36 am
        Majority of Indians will support Dr Manmohan's economic and development ideas and above all his integrity. If only, he could come out of this horrible dynasty of Sonia and Rahul. What a tragedy for our country, this millstone called dynasty is hanging around his neck. Can't we Indians get him out f this? What a shame!
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        1. A
          Asoka
          Oct 6, 2017 at 6:50 pm
          India never was run by any dynasty. Not sure why this term is being used by the blind ic bhakts. Please look up dictionary before commenting like a fool. Dynasties are found in Monarchy whereas India was always run by Democracy. What Rahul has inherited is the Legacy of Congress and Congressmen which has run the country for 49 yrs to be precise and NOT 60 yrs as claimed by rss-bjp brainless havoc-partners.
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        2. K
          Krish
          Oct 6, 2017 at 3:57 am
          Dr. MM Singh is right in that what he says carried weight when he says that the reforms should progress with a mixture of high economic growth and reduction of inequality. High economic growth is the need of the hour as otherwise you will have only poverty to distribute which will be what happening if you follow the Marxist or socialist doctrine which discourages private enterprise. Once the benefits of high growth start to flow and every body starts earning for a comfortable living with all needs sufficiently satisfied it will not matter to anyone if some one else owns huge property which is what we are seeing in advanced countries. Dr. MM Singh is the right person in the wrong company and people will cherish him if he can turn out to be honorary adviser to the present Government giving valuable suggestions and I am sure Modi will welcome him with both hands. In the interests of nation I wish he does that. Krish
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          1. Kash40
            Oct 6, 2017 at 2:38 am
            MMS is conveying that the loot of "her majesty " is not complete yet. He is able to speak now because command to not speak is muted command to speak is ON.
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