Manmohan Singh's 1991 Budget: the day that changed India forever

July 24, 2016 02:40 am | Updated December 04, 2021 11:09 pm IST

This undated photo shows former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao with Dr. Manmohan Singh.

This undated photo shows former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao with Dr. Manmohan Singh.

Today, July 24, 2016, marks 25 years of liberalisation. The economic reforms kick-started in 1991 brought about expansion of the services sector helped largely by a liberalised investment and trade regime. They also increased consumer choices and reduced poverty significantly.

A look at our Editorial published on July 25, 1991:

"In the circumstances, the broad philosophy that Dr. Manmohan Singh outlined was that large scale fiscal adjustment was needed but the poor should be protected from the burden of adjustment. Few Finance Ministers carry their announced philosophy through fully, but the latest budget is one without any major philosophical contradiction. The very poor have been spared and even given marginal reliefs as in the case of the cut in the price of kerosene. The burden is primarily on the corporate sector and on the rich and the middle class. For one thing, the budget marks a major shift in revenue raising from indirect to direct taxes and should gladden the advocates of equity." >Continue reading...Twenty five years ago this day

Dr. Manmohan Singh entering Parliament in New Delhi with the Budget documents in 1991. — Photo: Shanker Chakravarthy/ The Hindu Archives

MP Jairam Ramesh writes about the 1991 Budget and "how Dr. Manmohan Singh, the ‘hedgehog’, and Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, the ‘fox’, rescued India at its darkest moment."

"June 21 to July 24, 1991 witnessed an intellectual revolution, but it was an evolutionary one — both the crisis and the response were some years in the making. To borrow an analogy from the great historian of ideas, Isaiah Berlin, if Dr. Singh was the hedgehog who knew only one big thing and that is economic reforms, Rao was the crafty and cunning fox who knew many things. It was this unusual jugalbandi that rescued India at its darkest moment when India could well have mirrored Greece in 2015. There are many lessons to be drawn from what the duo did and more importantly how they did it, lessons that have great contemporary relevance as well." >Continue reading...

Tracking progress in numbers

High-rises and slum dwellings jostling for space in Mumbai. Photo: Prashant Nakwe

A look at some the key parameters of growth and tracking the country's journey in the last 25 years based on nine key numbers -- sectoral share of GDP, sectoral growth rates, length of roads, number of registered companies, FDI inflows, foreign exchange reserves, telecom subscriber base, number of educational institutions and poverty rate. >Continue reading...

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