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Opinion » Lead

Updated: July 4, 2012 00:11 IST

The economist as saviour

Sanjaya Baru
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Like Keynes, Manmohan Singh is treading the middle way, balancing contending ideas in an effort to stimulate the animal spirits of enterprise

We were flying to Mumbai where the Prime Minister was to address a gathering of business leaders. I had drafted a speech that he found time to read only on the plane. Half way through the journey he returned the draft with his notes scribbled in the margins. “I have added a quotation from Keynes”, he wrote. “But this is from memory. You will have to check it against the original.”

As soon as we reached Mumbai’s Raj Bhavan I asked the university library for a copy of John Maynard Keynes’s The Economic Consequences of the Peace (first published in 1919). A soiled old copy arrived in time. The quote in the printed volume matched, almost to the last word, the one scribbled by the PM on the margins of the draft.

This was October 2006. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was addressing an audience that included every big name in Mumbai’s business community, quoting Keynes from memory:

“If the rich had spent their new wealth on their own enjoyments, the world would long ago have found such a regime intolerable. But like bees they saved and accumulated, not less to the advantage of the whole community ... [they] were allowed to call the best part of the cake theirs and were theoretically free to consume it, on the tacit underlying condition that they consumed very little of it in practice. The duty of “saving” became nine-tenths of virtue and the growth of the cake the object of true religion.”

Prime Minister’s religion

Ensuring the “growth of the cake” has been Dr. Singh’s religion for over three decades. In his first term, growth accelerated on account of a sharp rise in both the savings and investment rates, the latter rising sharply from 24.6 per cent in 2003-04 to 32.3 per cent in 2008-09. However, the second term has been hit by a decline in the investment rate largely on account of the government’s own acts of omission and commission. Quite understandably, therefore, the focus has again shifted to stimulating investment.

The clue to Dr. Singh’s thinking on economic policy lies in the lasting intellectual impact of Keynes and his disciples on him. Dr. Singh’s teachers included Nicholas Kaldor and Joan Robinson, two of Keynes’s greatest disciples, and one of his tutors at Cambridge was Gautam Mathur, the architect of Osmania University’s economics department who thought of himself as a post-Keynesian messiah!

Uninformed commentators in the media often view Keynes only as the doctor who had a medicine for depression. Undoubtedly that was his most important policy contribution. Which is why, quite understandably, Keynes’s celebrated biographer, Robert Skidelsky, titled the second of his three-volume tome, covering the period 1920-1937, The Economist as Saviour.

However, among Keynes’s many contributions to economics was his analysis of the role of ‘expectations’. Investors and consumers are ordinary people responding to a variety of economic, social and political signals. Their response is shaped by experience and hope, price and prejudice.

Understanding why investors and consumers, savers and sellers do what they do is not just about analysing past data but requires getting a grip on what motivates them. Human behaviour, even in taking economic decisions, is motivated by a variety of stimuli and so economics is, in its essence, a behavioural science.

An important behavioural idea that Keynes introduced to modern macroeconomics was that sentiment plays as important a role as rational calculus in shaping investor behaviour. His now famous quote on ‘animal spirits’ (that many in India have discovered after last week’s use of that phrase by Prime Minister Singh), is in fact a fine exposition of the idea.

In his magnum opus, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1936), Keynes writes: “Even apart from the instability due to speculation, there is the instability due to the characteristic of human nature that a large proportion of our positive activities depend on spontaneous optimism rather than mathematical expectations, whether moral or hedonistic or economic. Most, probably, of our decisions to do something positive, the full consequences of which will be drawn out over many days to come, can only be taken as the result of animal spirits — a spontaneous urge to action rather than inaction, and not as the outcome of a weighted average of quantitative benefits multiplied by quantitative probabilities.”

Apart from the weight Keynes gave to sentiment in economic policymaking, he was a liberal who preferred what Skidelsky terms “The Middle Way”. Manmohan Singh too is a liberal, centrist Keynesian walking the “middle way.”

Keynesian or neo-liberal?

Far too many of both his critics and enthusiasts think of him as a “neo-liberal”. I recall once asking Prabhat Patnaik, the distinguished Marxist economist, a CPI(M) ideologue and my teacher and doctoral supervisor, why he referred to Dr. Singh as “neo-liberal” when he knew that he is in fact a Keynesian. Professor Patnaik replied “Manmohan Singh is a Keynesian but the policies of his government are neo-liberal.”

The policies too are a mix of contending ideas. It is perhaps not an accident that Dr. Singh has chosen to surround himself with economic advisors of very different intellectual persuasions. His longstanding policy aide, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, can be dubbed a neo-liberal, a traditional neo-classical economist. The chairman of Dr. Singh’s council of economic advisors, Chakravarti Rangarajan, is in fact a traditional monetarist, and proud to be so. On the other hand, the more recently inducted policy wonk Kaushik Basu, chief economic advisor to the Government of India, is more of a post-Keynesian.

What this diverse intellectual upbringing of India’s key economic policymakers has meant is that Indian policy has not been orthodox, but flexible. Skidelsky also dubbed Keynes a “Practical Visionary” — a description that aptly describes Manmohan Singh as well. As a “practical visionary”, Dr. Singh listens to the advice he likes and rejects what he does not.

Thus, while Mr. Rangarajan is a fiscal conservative and would like to see the fiscal deficit brought down sharply and monetary policy deployed more forcefully, Dr. Singh has opted for a “middle way”. Similarly, while Mr. Ahluwalia would like to see more privatisation and a more open economy, here too Dr. Singh treads a middle way. Dr. Singh has always encouraged internal debates within his team of advisers, picking and choosing ideas based on their political practicality and feasibility, almost always treading the “middle way”, a term that has more recently become globally fashionable — from Washington to Beijing, Brussels to Brasilia.

Best exposition

The best exposition of the “middle way” in Indian politics was in fact given by Dr. Singh’s “political mentor”, former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, who dedicated a large part of his presidential address to the Tirupati Session of the All India Congress Committee in 1992 to an exposition of how the policies that he and Dr. Singh were following at that time were in fact neither “pro-market” nor “anti-state”, but aimed at a judicious mix of public policy and private enterprise — the “middle path” as Narasimha Rao eloquently put it, seeking inspiration from the Buddha!

True, Congress governments have always walked the “middle path” and the sooner all Congressmen/women understand this about Dr. Singh’s policies the better. There is much that a government can do for business without succumbing to cronyism. Today, the government’s biggest contribution would be to alter the ‘state of expectations’ for the better, stimulate the ‘animal spirits’ of enterprise and end this long summer of uncertainty that has come to grip Indian business.

This requires an economic strategy, a political strategy, as well as a media strategy. If economic policymakers operate in a political vacuum and fail to properly communicate to the general and the investing public, their efforts would be in vain, as we have seen so often these past three years. There has to be a meeting of minds between the government and the political leadership and out of that must come an effective strategy of policy intervention and communication.

India remains one of the world’s faster growing economies and there is no reason why it should not become the fastest growing one before Dr. Singh’s term is over.

(Sanjaya Baru is Director for Geo-economics and Strategy, International Institute for Strategic Studies, and Honorary Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi)

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More In: Lead | Opinion

At last Dr. Singh has to follow his political guru late Sri P.V.
Narasimhara Rao, who was known for his inaction with reference to corruption, slow growth rath,etc. Mr. Singh failed as politician as well
as an economist though he is stated to be a visionary.

from:  Raghurama Sarma Bondalapati
Posted on: Jul 6, 2012 at 23:25 IST

Expecting MMS to go back to middle path after the loot of public money by politicians and industrialists is a very tall order. He should balance the incentives or subsidies given to agriculture(primary) sector against the industry(secondary) sector. It is obvious corporate sector is more articulate and voiceforous than the poor farming sector and Government for very obvious reasons placate the industry. Even now he should appraise UPA chief that PVN's type of freedom is needed to him to make India bright.

from:  M V J Rao
Posted on: Jul 6, 2012 at 04:01 IST

Whats's the use of great traits if they are not in use, or should I say
masked by party. As somebody said , the greatest victory of evil is the
silence of the good. There are so many colleagues of him destructing the
economy at their will and whims and all he is doing is NOTHING... God
save my country...

from:  Narasimha Rao
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 23:06 IST

Dr.Singh is a good economist. But he failed to be a great leader while overcome the difficulties of socio-political. He is not courageous to take any initiative which is not acceptable to Sonia gandhi or UPA allies. Recent hike in railway charges is the best example. If freedom is given to him he will definitely put our economy on growth track.

from:  Murali
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 18:59 IST

If knowledge about economic models and different schools of thought
were enough to solve economic problems of a nation, the US and EU
would have ended their respective ordeals by now. I believe that
economic theories can not be divorced from the socio-political and
demographic factors of a region. India would be more of an exception
rather than a case in point for these models. What we need today is a
visionary leader who can on one hand come to terms with the harsh
realities of globalization and neo-imperialism and at the same time
exploit the opportunities inherent in them with a goal of Inclusive
Economic growth. As a layman observer, I dont see anyone of this stature on the Indian political horizon. Not even Mr. Singh.

from:  Rupesh Sinha
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 17:09 IST

I always had hopes from Dr. Manmohan Singh, may be because I admired him as an economist even before he became PM of India. But the economist in him either got lost in all the political drama or could not find time to be himself. Now that he has once again got chance and is paying attention to the current economic strategy of India I feel that he is going to be Saviour of Indian economy.

from:  Varad
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 15:47 IST

The quote by the author appears to be incomplete and out of context. The full quote will help put matters in perspective: "In fact, it was precisely the inequality of the distribution of wealth which made possible those vast accumulations of fixed wealth and of capital improvements which distinguished that age [19th century Europe] from all others. Herein lay, in fact, the main justification of the Capitalist System. If the rich had spent their new wealth on their own enjoyments, the world would long ago have found such a régime intolerable. But like bees they saved and accumulated, not less to the advantage of the whole community because they themselves held narrower ends in prospect."

Also, Keynes is talking about 19th century Europe and the passage should not be seen as his 'theory'.

from:  AM Thomas
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 15:18 IST

At the moment, whole nation needs a revamp of economy. Sonia knows if this situation prevails, it is hard for her to win 2014. She will let Dr.Singh to focus on the Policies(Mulayam Yadav is there for the numbers required). Politicians will be at advantage with a positive image due to the efforts of Dr.Singh.

I feel good reading this article.

from:  Raja Pamarthi
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 12:37 IST

Dr. Manmohan Singh is at his best if he is given full freedom to act as it was done
by Mr. P.V. Narasimha Rao. Rao felt that he was a technocrat and his
recommendations should be respected and moved further. Rao's choice of Singh
was a chanakya-like decision. He knew that Singh was the right choice for dealing
with international institutions like the IMF and the World Bank. Rao being a scholar
himself he was aware of the strengths and weaknesses of both professionals and
politicians. As leader he struck a right balance. As Keynes said Economics provides
tools and a good Economist has to use the best tool to meet the needs of a
situation. For emerging economies we have applying something more than what
has been written on developed economies. Dr. Singh with the support of Mr. Rao
did well then and now is the time to see how as Prime Minister holding finance
portfolio he will do.

from:  Dr. K.U. Mada
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 12:07 IST

Even as the author claims that the eminent monetarists, and
post-Keynesians and neo-liberals peacefully co-exist under the Manmohan
regime, sensible policy making is disrupted by whims and fancies of few
in the government who actually hold the reins.

Despite this, it is comforting to know that our PM welcomes alternate
view points as well.

from:  Ann Mary John
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 11:03 IST

Aam Adami of India under the leadership of Dr MM Singh since 2004 have been suffering the worst. Dr MM sINGH as the renowned economist supported by a team of learned economists could have implemented reforms with human face which our Mahatma Gandhijee was advocating. Country's natural resources land, mines, metals & minerals are extracted by politicians and industrialists at throw away prices and at the cost of poor people. people of India have right over these resources including water and energy as they are God's given endowements and Government under the leadership of economist PM should harness them for public good to generate employment, reduce poverty, bring inclusive growth by deploying science, technology, money, professional skill and sharing international experiences. Dr MM Singh has attended plethora of international and regional conferences but unfortunately not utilized rich experiences for economic emancipation of poor people.Now as FM he must fulfil his commitment.

from:  Dr Amrit Patel
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 08:16 IST

Dr.Manmohan Singh has been in need of some image building in the context of his sagging reputation in the country in the context of the country's economy seeing road blocks everywhere and the national politics trapped in a stinking mess. Sanjaya Baru's lead article meets that need. But how about the suffering people of this country? Obviously they have to take care of themselves!

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 02:14 IST

No matter even if we have "Keynes" himself among our ministers but if he
is there only to deliver invitation to foreign diplomats, that too from
an individual on a official visit - much like a post man, he will do
more harm than any good to anyone in this country. May be the integrity
and the knowledge of MMS is beyond question but his "supine" behavior
will drag the nation and its well-being down.

from:  Rahul
Posted on: Jul 5, 2012 at 00:54 IST

Why does the author speak of investors only? What does he have to say about farmer's needs? About price rise? Why is that the only PM to have kept prices down was Morarji Desai?

from:  Ananth Sethuraman
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 23:09 IST

India's growth is dependent on foreign investment and revenues from exports and is heavily dependent on imported Oil. with export support from eurozone and USA faltering and rising oil prices the growth story seem to have come to an gradual stop. What we need is internal domestic demand created by disposable income and productive capacity not constrained by imported oil. We have made little headway in this direction. I personally do not see much hope from this administration, even less from a NDA-led one.

from:  Barani
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 19:15 IST

An interesting article. Dr. Manmohan Singh should show how he could draw lessons
from his association with Mr. P.V. Narasimha Rao. Singh was specially chosen as
Finance Minister because India was in such dire straight that it required support from
international institutions like the IMF and the World Bank and he was the right person
to deal with them. His background was well-suited for the purpose. Rao's leadership
and Singh's handling the finance portfolio delivered the goods. Such leadership
should emanate from Singh at this stage. Hope he will rise to the occasion.

from:  Dr. K. U. Mada
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 18:51 IST

Nice article, but the problem is the lack of political power. Unlike PVN who was an erudite man in his own right and had a well thought out world view, unfortunately SG has neither erudition nor any understanding of how the world works. Like all politicians at the bottom of the IQ pyramid, her only mantra is to give away things free to the citizens in the hope that this will fetch her votes.For this reason I do not hold Dr Singh responsible for the current state of the economy. What I do hold him responsible for is allowing crony capitalism to develop and thrive. It does'nt require the genius of a Keynes, or the supreme court to tell the government, that all natural resources of the country need to be auctioned to the highest bidder in a free and transparent way. He should have insisted on this from Day 1, then the country and the economy would'nt be witnessing this endless saga of scams.

from:  Bhaskar Bhattacharya
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 18:18 IST

A commenter's remark - " the notion of Economic growth being an end in itself is outdated" - is well said. The constant chase of GDP growth is over-rated and is to the detriment of the country. I don't see this government or the governments of the past 20 years tread the middle ground. The economic model of the United States is the prevailing model in the world and instead of truly treading the middle ground of encouraging innovation, thereby giving even the little guy the incentive to pursue a vocation, employment, industry, arts or what not, most of us (not just the poor masses) are toiling in the daily humdrum of making ends meet. And don't get me started on trickle down economics.

from:  Rahul Garg
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 18:02 IST

Behavioural- Neo Libral-Practical Visionary - Animal Spirit- MIDDLE PATH: In these difficult times having Dr. Singh at top, we are lucky but the so called watchdog opposition is blindly opposing the policies and reforms without scientific reasons is unacceptable and every political leader should read this article, if dont understand, please take help an economist.

from:  Dore Raj
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 15:33 IST

A great article. The Author sternly puts out why middle path is necessary and only Manmohan can bring about this through incremental improvements. We just need to give time to this guy rather being too cynical being about him.

from:  chaitanya
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 14:33 IST

An excellent article. The relationship between Mr. P.V. Narasimha Rao and Dr.
Manmohan Singh is well appreciated. The choice of Dr. Singh is a chanakya-like
decision of PM Narasimha Rao. When India was at the bottom of its fortune, he was
in the look out for a person who could tackle the international institutions well to get
over the problems at that time, especially the balance of payments.

from:  Dr. K. U. Mada
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 14:02 IST

An impressive narrative. Keynes in his General Theory says almost at the end that the world is ruled by the ideas of economists and political philosophers."Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back. I am sure that the power of vested interests is vastly exaggerated compared with the gradual encroachment of ideas.
..But soon or late, it is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or evil." Prophetic indeed, applied to India in the current economic context.

from:  B. Yerram Raju
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 13:01 IST

An eye-opener about Dr.Manmohan Singh. India needs such bureaucrats. We can anticipate that India grows faster under his regime.

from:  Bharadwaj Sista
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 12:44 IST

A good fairy tale. With some knowledge about Economics, Manmohan Singh
and Sanjaya Baru, i opine that this article is an attempted IMAGE MAKE
OVER for Manmohan Singh. It would have been well balanced, had the
author discussed Singh's publications and academic excellence (or
otherwise) in Economics. In its current form, the article appears as a
king praising bugle, blown by a courtiers. Nevertheless, i congratulate
The Hindu for providing space for different shades of opinion. Our
country can do much better without Manmohanomics

from:  dr.himanshu
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 12:43 IST

The article is very knowledgeble giving a lot of info on our PM's stance on economy. lets hope for the best and let us see INDIA as the fastest growing economy in the near future.

from:  Vamsi D
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 12:23 IST

What Dr.Singh lacks today is a leader of
stature of P V Narasimha Rao whose middle path only put our country in
growth trajectory without hurting the needs of the poor by making the
rich to contribute as much.However,Dr.Singh has deviated from the
middle path and taking sides of the rich in the name of incentive's by
depriving the poor. Raising revenues should be the focus to rein in
deficit and not cutting essential subsidies.Withdrawing concessions to
rich industrialists can bring down deficit and cutting down subsidies.
Further,Just like what PVN did by calling AICC sessions and getting
feedback from party workers is a must for Dr.Singh rather than bending
backwards to succcumb to the pressures of CII,FICCI & ASSOCHAMS.

from:  K.Vittal Shetty
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 12:19 IST

The former media advisor to PM has to know that mere feel good articles would do no good to PM 's image. The middle path which the author speaks is practiced by manmohan as "neither here nor there" or lets say "inaction". By being mute to misgovernance, corruption and a bystander to the unfolding economic crisis which is fuelling inflation, the sweet talk of middle path doesn't do any good.

from:  rambabu
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 12:13 IST

Dr. Singh should pull up his socks once again and bring back the economy on the main track. He should be on the "middle path" for the next one year or so so as to bring the country on the top of the global economy. Sanjaya Baru is known for his eloquent writing where he is and with the Keynesian quotes, it appears that both Dr. Singh and Mr. Baru have great memory.

from:  P.S. Srinivas
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 12:12 IST

How panegyric, hagiographic and sychophantic!

Recalling Keynes's words is not the skill we need now. 'What' we
really need is NOT 'what' economists can offer. When it gets tough and
wild, the 'Going' horse goes the way it does and likes. Economists
then show poor horsemanship in holding the reins and harness to make a
mess of the riding.

It is mere tinkering they (can) do - with interest rates, liquidity or
employment, besides trying to explain vast data volumes by
incomprehensible number-crunching; without control over causes, course
or consequences of events.

The 'WHAT' needed is bold political leadership, vital and visionary,
vigorously reforming governance by reducing subsidies and waste of
resources; wresting from the rich, the concessions they've been
superfluously enjoying.

Invest resources so released in resilience building - education,
healthcare, public utilities, renewable energy etc. - to create
employment, demand and wealth.

Too much for PM & economists, isn't it?

from:  Devraj Sambasivan
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 11:40 IST

I appreciate this article coming in The Hindu. It is a breath of fresh
air, really.

from:  Gayathri
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 11:36 IST

Rightly indicated that no leadership can work effectively if it's
working in a political edifice, insulated from the external environment.
One has to broaden the vision to include every organ in its
study/observation for the effective functioning of the whole body.The
proposition of including diverse intellects in the advisory body is
inevitable for every institution for it helps in weighing every possible
consequences and outcomes of a policy decision thereby making it more
effective and all inclusive.

from:  mukesh
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 11:15 IST

Many economists like Dr. Amartya Sen and Jeffrey Sachs are of the view that the notion of Economic growth being an end in itself is outdated.Scandinavia is pursuing welfare economics which ensures that the entire population enjoys a decent standard of living.
India should adopt an economic model which can bring prosperity to the millions of people living in sub-human conditions.Both the Government and the private sector have an important role to play in ensuring that the fruits of development reach the lowest strata of society. The Government should focus on being a catalyst in ensuring that development does not become lop-sided and biased in favor of the wealthy.
Education,public-health,environment,removal of regional disparities and irrigation should be the focus areas of India's economic policies.The per-capita notion does not give a true indication of the stark ground realities.About 80% of our populations earns less than Rs.20 per day.
There are serious challenges before our politicians

from:  Umesh Bhagwat
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 10:59 IST

Adherence to "The Middle Way" and being a "Practical Visionary" are of no avail when the person turns a blind eye to venality in his Cabinet.

from:  K.R.Srivarahan
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 10:49 IST

A good Article, and Well Concluded!! May be the Best of the Govt
Policies and its Economic Actions are being "Mis-communicated". That
is Why "Dr. Singh" has to Aquire some good Leadership Skills. Being a
Great Economist is not sufficient, You have to Pull through a lot of
difficulties(All Polictical, Social & Economic constraints). Then Only
"reviving of Animal Spirits" or "Human Spirits" Would be Possible.

Common Singh "Dr.Singh" Show some Charisma! and Lead all!

Very good Article By the way!!

from:  sai
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 10:38 IST

What a fantastic article!!! Loved it

from:  Mukund Murali
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 10:09 IST

Thanks for the article. I hope India "WILL" become the fastest growing under Dr. Singh's leadership

from:  Karthik Cherala
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 09:11 IST

Manmohan Singhji is not a sinner but more sinned against based on
personal agenda of detractors.Sonia was correct when she said that India
will be in safe hands when she projected MMS as the Prime Minister
before Dr.Kalam. India requires a cool-headed person of high thinking
like MMS to steer her from all the problems. But such a person should
make sure that he does not fall in to the trap laid by self-seekers
around him.

from:  T.N.Sethumadhavan
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 08:21 IST

Excellent article.

Economic growth is the engine. When P Chidambaram presented the
landmark budget in 1996-97, India's total budgetary allocation was
Rs100,000 crores - with 20% of it going to paying old debts, 20% to
run the govt, 20% on defense, 20% to state govt allocations, & balance
20% for space, atomic energy, S&T, subsidies & poverty eradication
(2000 crores). We could spare at the most Rs 40 per poor person per
year!!

Thanks to the growth engine, in these 15 years our coffers have
swelled up to 1,500,000 crores per annum, maintaining similar deficit
to GDP ratios, and we have much larger amounts of money to spend on
social welfare schemes. If done well they can make a real difference
to the society.

And, the growth engine, on its own does provide more people real jobs
on the ground. Go and look at the hundreds of thousands of employees
on new jobs that were created at the factories, BPOs, banks, you will
find many were from economically poor backgrounds.

from:  Anand
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 06:31 IST

Is this an assessment of Mr. Singh's tenure as PM? We can very well wait for 2014 to make such as assessment. Now he is also the Finance Minister. Let us see what he does in the remaining period of two years. There is no doubt that he has failed as the Prime Minister. Let us hope that at least he succeeds as the Finance Minister of the country.

from:  Pramod Patil
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 06:15 IST

An excellent exposition of the way Dr.Manmohan Singh's thinking on economic matters works. It is an eye opener for all skeptics who in their ignorance are not able to see the merit in the sound economic policies of Dr.Singh and the way he operates taking varying views from experts. Our Prime Minister is indeed a jewel in the crown.

from:  R.Vijaykumar
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 05:49 IST

Economists are good at promoting themselves, not solve problems. India's Planning Commission has been a paradise for economists. After 60 years of economic planning, the national capital Delhi is still without reliable water supply or electricity. Praising Manmohan Singh and others for freeing the economy is absurd: it was they who imprisoned it in the first place with centralized control.
India has two major achivements that has improved the people's lot-- the Green Revolution and the White (milk) Revolution. Both were the work of scientists and managers like M.S. Swaminathan, Tribhuvandas Patel (father of the milk cooperatives) and Verghese Kurien, not economists.
India now faces an energy famine. What is the economists' solution to it? Only science and technology can solve it.

from:  N.S. Rajaram
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 05:31 IST

Mr. Baru deserves praise for an excellent tutorial on the 'middle way' and Keynes. It is indeed very gratifying to learn about the practical bent of the academic, Dr. Singh. Managing expectations is what manages markets and also consumption. India has become used to the idea that Dr. Singh can significantly alter the nation, based on the change brought about during last two decades. What was lacking in UPA two was a will to restore 'fire in the belly'! Hopefully, Dr. Singh will demonstrate that he has not lost either the vision or the touch

from:  sridhar
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 03:04 IST

He may not get a lot of credit or adulation but P.V. Narasimha Rao had achieved a lot during tenure as the PM, he took the middle path on policy framing and mentored the current PM Singh to unshackle India's economy from decades of moribund license raj and the mediocre Hindu rate of growth. In fact PV Narasimha Rao had every claim on the economic liberalization of India. Now it is Dr. Singh 's turn to unleash the 2nd generation reform and go down in history as the true inheritor of the middle-path taken by PV Narasimha Rao and put India's economy firmly on a solid and durable ground.

from:  Jitendra Dutta
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 03:03 IST

'...there is no reason why it should not become the fastest growing one before Dr. Singh’s term is over' from Sanjaya Baru's mouth to god's ears! After the dismal performance of the economy during last two years the whole nation is looking to Dr. Singh to revive the 'animal spirit' of the economy and restore India to the high growth path that he unleashed in his earlier tenure at the Finance ministry.

from:  Jitendra Dutta
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 02:50 IST

The albatros that is holding-up India's economic development is fundamentally its socalled democratic deficit: namely, Parliaments inability to rise to the occasion of nation building or what makes the difference in policy making. And this political deficit is not only holding up proverty erradication of millions but also contributing to child or human development.
The poverty of Indian politics will eventually become its political suicide in a globalized world.
I was just listening to Bill Gates talking about his recent visit to UP and the work his Foundation is doing there to provide a micro condition for child development, etc.One is hard pressed to understand what the political parties are doing for the good of the poor in India.

from:  dr.hari naidu
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 01:14 IST
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