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Saturday, June 03, 2006

New gold, old votes : IIPM

God alone knows what made P. V. Narsimha Rao choose Manmohan Singh as his Finance Minister in 1991. The two had much in common, quiet men who didn’t oppose their bosses, and who went to great lengths to avoid controversy. Rao had, until then, done nothing remarkable, while Singh charted an anonymous existence as a bureaucrat. But, what a duo the two proved.

Rao craftily kept Sonia Gandhi in the sidelines, while Singh took to politics with gusto. He soon unleashed his New Economic Policy of liberalization and put India on the path to superpowerdom. Nehru’s mixed economy was dunked as Singh opted for privatisation.

Though often debated, the policy became irreversible and even the Left had begun to accept it. Many sectors are booming, and India’s growth has surprised many.

Most astonishingly, Singh became Rao’s best gift to India. Today, with backing from Sonia Gandhi, Singh ranks with Nehru, Indira, and V. P. Singh, as the most impactful Indian prime ministers.

Singh’s policy spelt the end of the licence raj, and gave credence to enterprise. There are still plenty of hurdles, primary being infrastructure, but the policy of openness and liberalization seems set to be in place.

The most visible impact of Singh’s policies is the zooming Sensex. Th e middle-class investor is happy, the mutual fund sector is thriving, and all eyes are on the round II of reforms, which is expected to take prosperity to the rural hinterland.

For Complete IIPM Article, Click on IIPM Article

Source :- IIPM Editorial, 2006

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