Marking the 30th anniversary of economic liberalisation, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on Friday, 23 July, issued a statement, in which he pointed out that the 'road ahead is even more daunting than during the 1991 crisis'.
“It is not a time to rejoice and exult but to introspect and ponder,” the ex-PM said, adding that our priorities, as a nation, must be 'recalibrated', so as to ensure a healthy and dignified life for every Indian.
Further, the Dr Singh recalled that 30 years ago the Congress party 'ushered in significant reforms of India’s economy', paving way for a new path for India’s economic policy and credited successive government for followed this path, over the last three decades, 'to catapult our nation to a three trillion dollar economy'.
On Economic Liberalisation
He also stated that 'more importantly, nearly 300 million fellow Indians have been lifted out of poverty' during the course of these 30 years, with 'hundreds of millions of new jobs' having been given to the youth.
He also recalled that even though 1991’s economic liberalisation process was triggered by an economic crisis, it was not constricted to crisis management.
“The edifice of India’s economic reforms are built on the desire to prosper, the belief in our capabilities, and the confidence to relinquish control of the economy by the government.”
Manmohan Singh Laments Devastation Caused by COVID
“I was fortunate to play a role in this reform process along with several of my colleagues in the Congress party,” Dr Singh further said, adding that he is, however, saddened to see devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic today.
“The social sectors of health and education have lagged behind and not kept pace with our economic progress. Too many lives and livelihoods have been lost that should not have been.”Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
'Miles to Go...'
Dr Singh shared that he had ended his budget speech, in 1991, quoting Victor Hugo: 'No power on Earth can stop an idea whose time has come'.
30 years later, he said, India must remember the following lines from Robert Frost’s Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening:
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep