PV Narasimha Rao was a true reformer, says former RBI Governor C Rangarajan

Former Reserve Bank Governor C Rangarajan, a key functionary in previous UPA governments, has said late Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao was a true reformist and his reforms had helped the country achieve good growth rate in subsequent years.

At the launch of former journalist Sanjaya Baru's book '1991: How PV Narasimha Rao made history' last night, Rangarajan also said Rao's Finance Minister and former PM Manmohan Singh had also played a pivotal role in rolling out the reforms but did not get due credit for his endeavours.

"But the fact of the matter is that Rao was a reformist. I can say this as I was a member of the Planning Commission then. I'm sure that Rao was fully behind the reforms and he had articulated the reforms in a manner in which it could be acceptable to his party as there were many in Congress who did not agree with what was happening," Rangarajan said.

He said some of the key reforms that Rao initiated included "dismantling the control raj" from the economy.

"We were dismantling counter-productive licensing mechanisms. But that was to be communicated in a very subtle manner. That's where the credit did not go very much to Rao," he said.

He said Rao totally supported Singh in implementing the reform policies and gave political support to his finance minister that was needed at that time to push the reform bandwagon.

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