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  1. #1
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    Is our PM really reformist?


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    There is a general impression that Dr Manmohan Singh is pro-reform as he was the architect of economic reforms initiated in 1991. Dr Singh has collected a number of awards/accolades in this regard, overshadowing his mentor P.V. Narasimha Rao, the then PM. Is Dr Singh really reformist? What is the status of reforms under his rule from 2004? Please read the following article that appeared in rediff.com.


    S Narayan, former finance secretary and economic advisor to the PM, says the UPA has done little to carry the reform agenda forward.

    It has been two decades since the reform process started in 991, though there are economists who argue that liberalisation of the economy started earlier, in 1985. It was well documented that the foreign exchange crisis of 1991 activated the new government into a slew of far-reaching economic reforms that opened up the country and ushered in the age of a fresh economic growth -- a pattern of growth that has remained steady through several successive governments of different hues and political affiliations.

    It is interesting to look at the reform process and the consequences of the policy changes that were made.
    First, the years of reform were 1991, 1992 and 1993. By the end of the third year, the process had lost steam, there was the Harshad Mehta scandal in the financial markets, and a JPC (Joint Parliamentary Committee) had been constituted. The reforms themselves focussed on tightening fiscal expenditure, opening up the economy for private sector investment through removal of industrial licensing restrictions, and deep and structured changes in the financial markets through transparent mechanisms for transactions, an independent regulator, and easy access to foreign capital. The exchange rate innovations that came through resulted in open tradability in current account and also in lessening of restrictions on capital account. Investment boomed, as also trade, and India grew from an economy with only 8 per cent trade-to-GDP ratio then to over 35 per cent now. However, it is now clear that these reforms came at a huge cost, whose consequences are being seen now.
    Sharp contraction of the budget resulted in reduced outlays for power, agriculture, education and health, and several academics have argued that this was a huge human welfare cost of the 1990s. State governments, faced with severe contractions of central government Plan assistance, and left with large establishments, ran up huge debts that could not be resolved until 2002 and 2003. In short, the social sectors, as well as agriculture and power were starved of funds and policy initiatives during the nineties. The corrections came only through the Electricity Act 2003, the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and the Rural Health Mission, all in the decade of 2000-2010. A decade of youngsters have failed to reach their full potential during 1990-2000.

    The next set of reforms, in the National Democratic Alliance era, focussed on infrastructure -- roads, telecommunications, airports and power, and the legacy of several of these decisions have benefited the successor governments. There was also a focus on reforms in tariffs -- customs duties were progressively brought down to international levels, excise duties were normalised and there was considerable easing of the income tax code. The effort to introduce VAT (Value-Added Tax) in all the states was taken during the NDA government.

    The government after 2004 has taken several steps that have attempted to negate the gains of the earlier reforms. On the tariff front, the income tax and customs and excise tariffs were made more complex between 2004 and 2009, and a heavy dose of service tax was introduced. There was little relief for the lower income groups. Income tax procedures became more cumbersome and complicated. In other sectors, the years 2004 to 2009 witnessed a slowdown in the development of roads, and in the introduction of PPP (public-private-partnership) models in the airports and ports sectors. While China was going ahead with a massive programme in upgrading its railway, very little addition to railway capacity happened in India.
    Most importantly, the unfinished agenda of 2004, in the insurance sector, banking sector and in the manufacturing sector remained unfinished. There was no decision on changes in FDI (foreign direct investment) caps in the insurance or the retail sectors. Several restrictive announcements, like threatening to lower FDI caps for the pharmaceutical sector, and state monitoring of commercial transactions with multinational companies, have become evident. It is now acknowledged that the UPA -2 has made very little headway in carrying the reform agenda forward. Much more importantly, the presence of the state is much more visible now, across sectors, than it was even five years ago. Further, there is a serious shortfall in implementation and in governance, which has been commented upon by academics and by media.In short, there is a requirement for a fresh push, especially in agriculture, education and health which would deliver the inclusive growth -- the target of policy.
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    we ought to be proud of pm for his due dilligence in shaping the economic growth.but agricultural reforms is still the key,power sector,defence,manufacturing,foreign investment so much room to innovate
    Saraswati namasthubhyam Varade kaama roopini Vidyaarambham karishyaami Sidhirbhavatu me sadaa
    O Goddess Saraswati, the giver of Boons and fulfiller of wishes, I prostrate to You before starting my studies. May you always fulfill me?
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    Generally I don't have much faith in politicians anywhere. You thought 2G scam was bad? Look at the Coal contracts - given to friendly companies at Rs.100 per ton, when the market rate was at Rs.2000 per ton... it dwarfs the 2G scam by as much as TENFOLD.
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  6. #4
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    we forget the basic fact. He is a monetary economist and hence his vision is
    narrow. Can't expect much from him.
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  8. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrBarani View Post
    Generally I don't have much faith in politicians anywhere. You thought 2G scam was bad? Look at the Coal contracts - given to friendly companies at Rs.100 per ton, when the market rate was at Rs.2000 per ton... it dwarfs the 2G scam by as much as TENFOLD.
    i dont know if anyone remembers the story. during indira gandhi time.

    apparently one sbi branch manager, purpotedly got a call from someone claiming to phone from the PMO, and ordered the manager to load crores of cash in a bag, and leave it out somewhere.

    the branch manager was eventually found dead or commited suicide.

    this was the first time, i ever heard, of large sums of money being traded by politicians. in independent india.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kunjuppu View Post
    i dont know if anyone remembers the story. during indira gandhi time.

    apparently one sbi branch manager, purpotedly got a call from someone claiming to phone from the PMO, and ordered the manager to load crores of cash in a bag, and leave it out somewhere.

    the branch manager was eventually found dead or commited suicide.

    this was the first time, i ever heard, of large sums of money being traded by politicians. in independent india.
    The case was before emergency I think. The case became famous as 'Nagarwala case". He was head cashier in SBI, Parliament Street branch I think. Yes, he did die mysteriously.
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    Exactly it was Nagarwala Story.

    Indira Gandhi was the Mother of Corruption and Mis-Rule in India.

    During 1971 Elections she contested in Raebareli Constituency.Raj Narayanan opposed her in that election.

    At that time Deliberate Violations of Misusing Govt Machinery was caught red handed by Mr.Narayanan and after Election he filed in Lucknow High Court with Authentical Evidence.

    The case went on in the Court for 4 years.

    In 1975 The Hon.Judges Declared Verdict against Mrs Gandhi.

    Immediately Mrs.Gandhi,Transferred those Judges and Implemented MISA (Maintenance of Internal Security Act) .

    To avoid the Revolt inside the Country she Jailed all the National Leaders.
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    Oh God! what course has this thread taken? From reforms to Nagarwala case? I expected some economists from the forum to throw light on the contents of the article I reproduced from rediff.com. Is it that Iyers are averse to economics?
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  16. #9
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    Prof.Dr M.M.S is Different roll. And P.M. Dr.m.m.s is another Roll.He is now acting in Double act Role in UPA / Govt Drama,just as Bale Pandya Sivaji Ganesan.

    Prof.Dr MMS is a good economist but he is in the Wrong Hands.

    As long as Dr.MMS is operated by someone,his efficiency will not be exposed.

    If he is given Liberty to whatever he wants,Then his efficiency will burst and India will shine.
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  18. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by vsubbu48 View Post
    Oh God! what course has this thread taken? From reforms to Nagarwala case? I expected some economists from the forum to throw light on the contents of the article I reproduced from rediff.com. Is it that Iyers are averse to economics?
    subbu,

    B.A. (Economics) படிக்கறான்னு சொல்ல எந்த ஐயர் அப்பா அம்மாவுக்கு சொல்ல துணிவு இருக்கு ? எல்லோருக்கும் தங்க புள்ளையே எஞ்சிநீராகவோ கம்புட்டர் சாப்ட் வெர்லே வேலை செய்யறான்னு சொன்னாத்தானே பெருமை !!
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