SME Times News Bureau | 15 Oct, 2019
Union Finance Minister Nirmala
Sitharaman said on Monday that all the key reforms such as Goods and Services
Tax (GST), Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) and Aadhaar have taken place in
the last five years.
Sitharaman's comment came in response to the critical observation of the
economy made by none other than her husband and economist Parakala Prabhakar,
who said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) should embrace the P.V. Narasimha
Rao-Manmohan Singh economic model to boost the flagging economy.
Both the former Congress Prime Ministers are regarded as pillars of economic
reforms in the modern Indian economy.
In an article in a news daily, Prabhakar has suggested that the BJP has not
been able to propose any economic framework of its own.
In a no-holds-barred attack on the Modi government, Prabhakar alleged: "In
economic policy, the party mainly adopted "Neti Neti (Not this, Not this),
without articulating what was its own Niti (policy)'."
Post a bankers' meet on credit offtake and NBFCs, Sitharaman was asked to
comment on her husband's take on the economy.
"All the reforms have taken place between 2014 and 2019 (during the NDA
rule) and the deep reforms like the GST were not introduced by the Congress.
IBC and Aadhaar were introduced and amendments were carried out. The Ujjawala
scheme benefitted 8 lakh women. Many changes were made to tax structure. After
October 1, startups will now have to pay the lowest tax in India. All these
should have also been praised," Sitharaman said.
The spouse of the sitting Finance Minister advised the Narendra Modi government
to "embrace" his predecessors -- former Prime Ministers Manmohan
Singh and P.V. Narasimha Rao's economic model.
Prabhakar is himself an economist. He comes from a political family himself and
both his parents were legislators in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly.
A former communications adviser to the government of Andhra Pradesh, Prabhakar
also criticised the ruling party for attacking the Nehruvian economic
framework, saying that the party think-tank "fails to realise" that
the attack remains more of a political assault and can never graduate to an
"The path-breaking repositioning ushered in by P.V. Narasimha Rao and his
economic amanuensis Manmohan Singh remains unchallenged even today. Almost
every political party that formed the government, took part in governance, or
lent outside support to the government at the Centre since then embraced that
repositioning. The Rao-Singh policy scaffolding remained largely unaltered in
the last quarter century," Prabhakar wrote.
In fact, Prabhakar asking to return to Rao's model of economy shouldn't be
surprising, considering that his family was closely associated with the late
former Prime Minister.