Manmohan Singh: Politician By Accident? Well, 'The Honest Always Stand Alone'

The TIME magazine has stated Manmohan Singh as “underachiever” saying his unwillingness “to stick his neck out” on decisions, that has derailed India off the growth track. People are losing trust on the government and Manmohan Singh should introduce populist measures to win Voter’s trust back. In 2008, Healthcare reform has been a substantial campaign which Barack Obama promised during presidential elections, and announced Healthcare for America Plan vis-à-vis Obama care after elections. On the other side, innovative and effective healthcare schemes like NRHM, RSBY and RGSEAG-SABLA, are introduced by the Manmohan Singh Government had brought healthy change in the lives of a common man. Still a very little credit is given to him for all these healthcare reforms he brought. So does it mean, if Manmohan Singh were the president of US, where healthcare is considered as a prime issue, he would be tagged as a ‘Moderate’ and not ‘underachiever’ as in case of India.

Dr. Manmohan Singh

Recently Tata Group chairman Mr. Ratan Tata attributed slowdown in decision-making as- ‘attempts by the Opposition to “topple the government” as well as “persistent allegations” of corruption and illegal acts’- in support of Manmohan Singh. The conglomerate also stated it sad and unfortunate that over the past few months the Opposition, the media, some individual citizens and even some ruling party members have pitilessly spoken and written disparagingly about the Prime Minister, and given him sole credit for 1991 reforms which added international recognition and economic prosperity to our country.

Moreover recently elected President Mr. Pranab Mukherjee left a troubled legacy for Manmohan Singh to fix. Mukherjee as a finance minister was to fix compensation to states of INR 20,000 crore for losses on the central sales tax (CST). Now, with Mukherjee safely moved off to Rashtrapati Bhavan, the PM is trying to sort out the problem either by denying or delaying the payment. But the states can’t be turned down any more. Bihar had already asked PM for the cash. Now Manmohan Singh is INR 19,700 crore short as Mukherjee made only an INR 300 crore provision in the budjet.

Mukherjee also left PM with the oil subsidy trouble. The budget offered Rs 43,580 crore for oil subsidies, but as at the end of April, this money was to pay for last year’s dues INR 38,500 crore and the remaining amount would have been hardly enough to pay for April’s subsidies. This left Manmohan Singh with no option but to raise kerosene, cooking gas and diesel prices rapidly. And also no reason to thank Pranab Mukherjee, who has emptied out the treasury, and left Manmohan Singh with another problem to deal with.

But now after being widely criticised as an ineffectual prime minister for a year or so, Dr. Singh will always be remembered then for reforming the healthcare sector the way he is credited now with liberalizing the Indian economy.


  • golden opportunity for Mr.Singh to reform the economic policies, as pranabda is elevated to president post, and parliamentary elections are year away. this window of 6 months, until December is the window to amend his acts and move away from populist politics.

    • Anurag Paliwal says:

      Exactly, but Pranabda has left ticking bombs for Manmohan Singh, Food Security bill is yet to come..but the bit of luck is this: the bill won’t come due fully this year. By the time the Food Security Bill is passed, half the year will be over. It will have to be fully paid for only next year. But then, the next budget will be the last one before elections. And who cares about budget deficits in an election year?

  • FDI in Retail would be good for a start.The corporate honchos would definitely want FDI from Mr. Singh. Other reforms can follow but High Command would play a populist card as elections are due next year. So, something is better than nothing.

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