New Delhi: Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Friday said that the road ahead was even more daunting than the 1991 economic crisis and the nation would need to recalibrate its priorities to ensure dignified living.
He was speaking on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of economic liberalisation. He said on this day 30-year ago in 1991, the Congress Party ushered in significant reforms of India’s economy and paved a new path for our nation’s economic policy.
“Over the last three decades, successive governments have followed this path to catapult our nation to a $3 trillion economy and into the league of the world’s largest economies. More importantly, nearly 300 million fellow Indians have been lifted out of poverty in this period and hundreds of millions of new jobs have been provided for our youth,” he added.
Cautioning the countrymen, the former prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh said, “I am deeply saddened at the devastation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the loss of millions of fellow Indians. The social sectors of health and education have lagged behind and not kept pace with our economic progress. Too many lives and livelihoods have been lost that should not have been. It is not a time to rejoice and exult but to introspect and ponder.”
Singh added that, “The road ahead is even more daunting than during the 1991 crisis. Our priorities as a nation need to be recalibrated to foremost ensure a healthy and dignified life for every single Indian.”
Recalling how as finance minister in 1991 he ended the historic Budget speech by quoting Victor Hugo, “no power on Earth can stop an idea whose time has come”, Singh said, “30 years later, as a nation, we must remember Robert Frost’s poem, “But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep”.
On a cheerful note, the former Prime Minister added that it gave him immense joy to look back with pride at the tremendous economic progress made by the nation in the last three decades.