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Business News/ News / India/  Bharat Ratna to 10th PM PV Narasimha Rao: Why is it significant?
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Bharat Ratna to 10th PM PV Narasimha Rao: Why is it significant?

Narasimha Rao's visionary leadership paved the way for India's economic growth, says PM Modi

Undated file photo of former prime minister PV Narasimha Rao. Rao will be honoured with the Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian award. (PTI)Premium
Undated file photo of former prime minister PV Narasimha Rao. Rao will be honoured with the Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian award. (PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced Bharat Ratna for the 10th Prime Minister of India Pamulaparti Venkata Narasimha Rao for "his contributions to India's foreign policy, language and education sectors".

Taking to X, PM Modi said, "As a distinguished scholar and statesman, Narasimha Rao Garu served India extensively in various capacities. He is equally remembered for the work he did as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Union Minister, and a Member of Parliament and Legislative Assembly for many years. His visionary leadership was instrumental in making India economically advanced, laying a solid foundation for the country's prosperity and growth."

"Narasimha Rao Garu's tenure as Prime Minister was marked by significant measures that opened India to global markets, fostering a new era of economic development. Furthermore, his contributions to India's foreign policy, language and education sectors underscore his multifaceted legacy as a leader who not only steered India through critical transformations but also enriched its cultural and intellectual heritage."

Here's why P V Narasimha Rao's Bharat Ratna is significant:

Narasimha Rao took charge of the Prime Minister's office in 1991 when the country was faced with various challenges, the greatest being the economic crisis. His legacy as the “Father of Indian Economic Reforms" as he ushered India into an era of economic reforms- globalisation, liberalisation and privatisation set the stage for the nation's future growth.

Roa served as India's prime minister for a total of 1,791 days, from June 21, 1991, to May 16, 1996.

Liberalisation and the end of Licence Raj

On July 24, 1991, Rao’s government announced the end of the restrictive Licence Raj, which had stifled economic growth. The then finance minister Manmohan Singh presented a historic budget that rolled out economic liberalisation in India. This move allowed businesses to operate more freely in India without excessive bureaucratic hurdles.

Industrial licensing and Monopolistic and Restrictive Trade Practices (MRTP) clearance were also eliminated to promote a more open and competitive market in the Indian economy.

Currency Depreciation and Import Reforms

To address the perilous economic situation, Rao’s government depreciated the Indian rupee by 18-19%. It aimed to boost exports and stabilise the Indian economy.

Import duties were also gradually reduced, to encourage trade and foreign investment in the Indian markets.

Tax Reforms and Privatisation

Under PM Rao, the Indian government implemented income tax and corporate tax reductions, making the country more attractive to investors. The liberalisation of foreign investment facilitated international participation in the Indian economy.

Privatisation of the public sector was also initiated, allowing private enterprises to play a more significant role.

Political Prowess and Challenges

Despite not having a parliamentary majority, PV Narasimha Rao’s government successfully implemented widespread reforms, showcasing his political acumen. However, his tenure was not without controversies, including the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha bribery case and the Harshad Mehta stock market scam.

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Published: 09 Feb 2024, 04:07 PM IST
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