Special Correspondent

Appreciates Birla’s role in the field of education

“He was a Rajya Sabha member through very difficult but very exciting times”

NEW DELHI: Recalling the era when economic reforms were unleashed in the country, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated that Chairman of the Birla Group K.K. Birla was among the very few industrialists who had supported the reforms in 1991 when several others were worried about the fallout of opening of the economy.

Releasing Mr. Birla’s autobiography Brushes with History - Autobiography of K.K. Birla on Monday in the capital, Dr. Singh recalled that when economic reforms were initiated in 1991 there were many business leaders who were worried, apprehensive about the changes.

“They lived in a world of permits, controls and quotas. Many had preferred that security over the uncertainty that is associated with risk taking and normal functioning of competitive markets. It was Mr. Birla who wholeheartedly supported the changes. I received the support in Parliament through the columns of the Hindustan Times,” Dr. Singh said.

Dr. Singh was the Union Finance Minister during 1991.

Appreciating Mr. Birla’s role in the field of education, the Prime Minister said: “The interest he had taken in modern education in India helped the growth of some of our best educational institutions. He has actively taken interest in public affairs and was a member of the Rajya Sabha for three consecutive terms through very difficult but very exciting times.”

The foreword of the book has been written by the United Progressive Alliance Chairperson, Sonia Gandhi, who was also present on the occasion along with many other dignitaries including Union Ministers.

On G.D. Birla

Referring to Mr. Birla’s father Ghanshyam Das Birla, Dr. Singh said he along with other important business leaders authored the famous “Bombay Plan” and outlined the role of the government and responsibilities of business.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Birla, in his nineties, recalled his association with Mahatma Gandhi and the freedom struggle.