Narasimha Rao 'the father of economic reforms in India': Manmohan singh
New Delhi : Former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao was a "great son of the soil" and he can truly be called the father of economic reforms in India as he had both the vision and the courage to push them forward, Manmohan Singh, who was finance minister in his cabinet, said on Friday.
Dr Manmohan Singh made his remarks while addressing the inaugural function of the year-long birth centenary celebrations of the late Prime Minister organised by the Congress's Telangana unit. Interestingly, the event coincided with the presentation of the first budget of Mr Rao's government by him in 1991.
The 1991 budget is hailed for shaping the modern India and also pushing for economic reforms.
"It was a hard choice and a bold decision and it was possible because Prime Minister Narasimha Rao gave me the freedom to roll out things, after he fully understood what was ailing India's economy at that time," Dr Singh, a former Prime Minister, said online.
"On this day, while inaugurating his birth centenary celebrations, I pay my humble respects to the man who had the vision and the courage to push these reforms," the Congress leader said, adding that Mr Rao, like former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, had great concern for the country's poor.
Dr Singh also said that PV Narasimha Rao was a "friend, philosopher and guide" to him in many ways.
Quoting French poet and novelist Victor Hugo, Dr Singh said he had once said that "no power on earth can stop an idea whose time has come". India's emergence as a major economic power was one such idea, he said.
"There was an arduous journey ahead but it was time to let the whole world know loud and clear that India was wide awake. The rest is history. Looking back, Narasimha Rao can truly be called the father of economic reforms in India," the former Prime Minister said.