20 years of Singh’s bud­get re­forms

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In­dia marks 20 years of the rad­i­cal free-mar­ket re­forms in­tro­duced by In­dia’s cur­rent Prime Min­is­ter Man­mo­han Singh, who was a fi­nance min­is­ter then (1991). The re­forms were part of his land­mark bud­get which proved to be sig­nif­i­cant in ig­nit­ing rapid growth in In­dia’s econ­omy. Singh’s pro­posed re­forms switched the coun­try’s course from in­ward-look­ing so­cial­ist poli­cies to a more mar­ket-friendly ap­proach. De­spite in­tro­duc­ing im­mense de­vel­op­ment in the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion, IT and in­vest­ment sec­tors, the re­forms pro­gramme was still ac­cused of be­ing at a stand­still. Nev­er­the­less, it con­trib­uted to the growth of In­dia’s mid­dle class. The busi­ness sec­tor crit­i­cises the pro­gramme due to long pend­ing pro­pos­als of in­tro­duc­ing a na­tion­wide tax struc­ture to cut busi­ness costs, sim­pli­fy­ing land ac­qui­si­tion for in­dus­trial projects and fully open­ing up the vast re­tail sec­tor to for­eign in­vestors

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