Dr. Manmohan Singh, India’s 13th and first Sikh Prime Minister held in the post for two terms, from 2004 to 2014. But he is most recognised for his economic changes, which he implemented in 1991 when he was a finance minister in PV Narsimha Rao’s government.
By Vaishali Pandey/ The Newster
Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, who served two terms in office and was the country’s first Sikh Prime Minister, celebrates his 89th birthday on Sunday.
Singh, the 13th Prime Minister of India, was born on September 26, 1932, in Gah, Undivided Punjab, British India (now Pakistan). During his career, he held several significant political and non-political positions. He was the governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) from 1982 to 1985 and the deputy chairperson of the Planning Commission from 1985 to 1987. He was appointed as a chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC) in 1991.
Manmohan Singh: A Reformer That Changed India
A well-known economist who is credited with enacting major economic changes known as the LPG Reforms in the 1990s (Liberalization, Globalization and Privatization). The reforms dissolved the Licence Raj, lowered tariffs & interest rates and ended numerous public monopolies which enables the automatic acceptance of foreign direct investment in a variety of industries. The major goal of this model was to make India’s economy the world’s fastest-growing economy, with characteristics that would allow it to compete with the world’s largest economies.
Many economists and leaders commended him for the economic changes he implemented during his term. He served as the country’s Finance Minister for 13 years before becoming Prime Minister.
His reforms single-handedly boosted the Indian economy from all sides. India recorded its greatest GDP growth rate of 9% in 2007, making it the world’s second-fastest-growing major economy.
India witnessed a new form of government under Manmohan Singh’s leadership, with a mix of socialist initiatives and pro-capitalist policies. During his tenure, the Finance Ministry executed the MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act), a social security scheme aimed at providing livelihood, sustenance, and employment to India’s rural communities and labourers. On the other hand, they embrace pro-business measures as well. In 2005, Singh’s government replaced the complex sales tax with simple VAT.
Handling of the economic crisis during 2008-09
Many in the administration did not think much of the economic crisis in the days following the Lehman bankruptcy on September 15, 2008. The previous years’ economic exuberance had led to the widespread belief that India’s economy was disconnected from the developed world’s.
But facts tend to be obfuscated during periods of rapid growth. India has become increasingly linked with the global economy since the Asian crisis of 1998. In reality, the strong nearly double-digit growth rates observed over the four years from 2004-05 to 2007-08 were also a period when the world economy was at its peak, increasing at an average of 4%-plus from 2004 to 2007.
India’s outstanding success was assisted by a surge in exports, which increased by an average of 25% per year on the back of strong global trade growth of 8.6%. Global commerce fell by 11% in 2009, while India’s exports fell by 16%.
In the months following September 2008, India took significant action. The RBI needed some nudging from Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Chidambaram at first, but as it became obvious that India would not be spared, and that the crisis might derail India Shining tale, all heads were on board.
Between December 2008 and February 2009, the government announced three stimulus packages totalling Rs 1,86,000 crore, or 3.5% of GDP, in three months.
As a result, in 2011-12, the Indian economy grew by over 7%, with the services sector accounting for 58 % growth, a stabilising element for our economy in a world when people can’t afford to buy more produced products.
This alternative picture of Manmohan Singh’s and India’s tenacious development in the face of these obstacles is masked by the bad representation of a government as a result of purported corruption accusations. Sadly, he doesn’t get enough credit for keeping the situation stable and guaranteeing a speedy recovery.