Home / News / India /  Manmohan Singh was extraordinary, but India stalled economically: Narayana Murthy

N R Narayana Murthy, co-founder of IT giant Infosys has said that economic activities in India were stalled during UPA's regime despite the fact that Manmohan Singh, the extraordinary man was at the helm of affairs.

Murthy made this remark during interaction with students at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad.

"I used to be on the board of HSBC in London (between 2008 and 2012). In the first few years, when China was mentioned two to three times in the boardroom (during meetings), India's name would be mentioned once," Murthy said.

Narayan Murthy during a session on the book "Startup Compass" with its authors at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIM-A) stated, "For certain years (2008 to 2012) I used to be on the board of HSBC in London. In the first few years, when China was mentioned two to three times, India's name would be mentioned once."

When comparing the current government with the previous UPA government, he said the country's economy suffered due to delays in taking decisions.

According to him, the economic reforms of 1991, when Manmohan Singh was the finance minister, and the present Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA government's schemes like 'Make In India' and 'Startup India' have helped the country gain ground.

"But unfortunately, I don't know what happened afterwards. During Manmohan Singh's government, who is an extraordinary individual, for whom I have tremendous respect, somehow India stalled. Decisions were not taken quickly, everything was delayed. And by the time I left (HSBC), if China's name was mentioned 30 times, India's name was hardly found to be mentioned once," Murthy said as he credited former PM Manmohan Singh for 1991 economic reforms.

When asked where he sees India in the future, he said, "When I was of your age, there was not much responsibility because not much was expected from neither me nor India. Now, it is the responsibility of the young generation to make people mention India's name, whenever they mention any other country's name, particularly China and exuded confidence that the young generation will be able to do that."

Praising the Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre for bringing in 'Make In India' and 'Startup India', he said, "there was a time when most people from other countries looked down upon India, but today, there is a certain level of respect for the country, which has now become the world's fifth largest economy."

He also added, "During the period of 1978 to 2022, i.e 44 years, China has left India behind by six times. But I do think that if all the wonderful people sitting here this side to make things happen, India too will see similar respect as China today gets it."

Earlier when India overtook UK to become fifth-largest economy, former CEA Kaushik Basu had given credit to Manmohan Singh and Narasimha Rao. "If anyone gets credit for India overtaking UK’s GDP, it’s Narasimha Rao & Manmohan Singh’s govts. India’s growth spurt from 1994 & even faster growth from 2005 made this inevitable, despite the sharp slowdown since 2016. It’s like a relay race won inspite of the last runner," he said. Basu served as the Chief Economic Adviser to Manmohan Singh between 2009 and 2012. From 2012 to 2016, he served as the Chief Economist of the World Bank.

(With inputs from agencies)

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