|13th Prime Minister of India|
22 May 2004 â€“ 26 May 2014
|President||A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
|Preceded by||Atal Bihari Vajpayee|
|Succeeded by||Narendra Modi|
|Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha|
21 March 1998 â€“ 21 May 2004
|Prime Minister||Atal Bihari Vajpayee|
|Preceded by||Sikander Bakht|
|Succeeded by||Jaswant Singh|
|Minister of Finance|
21 June 1991 â€“ 16 May 1996
|Prime Minister||P. V. Narasimha Rao|
|Preceded by||Yashwant Sinha|
|Succeeded by||Jaswant Singh|
|Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission|
15 January 1985 â€“ 31 August 1987
|Prime Minister||Rajiv Gandhi|
|Preceded by||P. V. Narasimha Rao|
|Succeeded by||P. Shiv Shankar|
|Governor of the Reserve Bank of India|
15 September 1982 â€“ 15 January 1985
|Preceded by||I. G. Patel|
|Succeeded by||Amitav Ghosh|
|Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha)|
26 September 1932 |
Gah, Punjab, British India (Present-day Punjab, Pakistan)
|Political party||Indian National Congress|
|Spouse(s)||Gursharan Kaur (m. 1958)|
|Children||Upinder, Daman, Amrit|
|Alma mater||Panjab University, Chandigarh
St John’s College, Cambridge
Nuffield College, Oxford
Protectionism is a very real danger. It is understandable that in times of a severe downturn protectionist pressures mount but the lessons of history are clear. If we give in to protectionist pressures, we will only send the world into a downward spiral.
We got government off the backs of the people of India, particularly off the backs of India's entrepreneurs. We introduced more competition, both internal competition and external competition. We simplified and rationalized the tax system. We made risk-taking much more attractive.
Our foreign-exchange reserves when I took over were no more than a billion dollars; that is, roughly equal to two weeks' imports.
We all know the epicentre of terrorism in the world today is Pakistan. The world community has to come to grips with this harsh reality.
Capitalism historically has been a very dynamic force, and behind that force is technical progress, innovation, new ideas, new products, new technologies, and new methods of managing teams.
We are a mixed economy. We will remain a mixed economy. The public and private sector will continue to play a very important role. The private sector in our country has very ample scope and I am confident that India's entrepreneurs have the capacity, and the will to rise to the occasion.
It is a struggle for the minds of the people… No cause justifies recourse to terrorism.
The Chinese have certain advantages. The fact that it's a single party government. But I do believe in the long run the fact that India is a functioning democracy committed to the rule of law. Our system is slow to move but I'm confident that once decisions are taken they are going to be far more durable.
Together with international unity and resolve we can meet the challenge of this global scourge and work to bring about an international law of zero tolerance for terrorism.
Nobody should be allowed to tinker with democracy. We will not discontinue the good works of the past government.
The Indian economy grew at 5.5 percent, but if you look at the last 30 years – for example, 1960 to 1985 – the progress made by East Asian countries was phenomenal. In a single generation they had been able to transform the character of their economy. They were able to get rid of chronic poverty.
If you have a rigidly controlled economy, cut off from the rest of the world by infinite protection, nobody has any incentive to increase productivity and to bring new ideas.
My top most priority is to deal with India's massive social and economic problems, so that chronic poverty, ignorance and disease can be conquered in a reasonably short period of time.
Let me say that I think the economic history of the last 150 years clearly shows that if you want to industrialize a country in a short period, let us say 20 years, and you don't have a well-developed private sector, entrepreneurial class, then central planning is important.
Protectionism has to be avoided. Protectionism is not only on goods but also in the area of services. Financial protectionism is also bad and should be avoided.
We are a coalition government, and that limits our options in some ways. Privatization happens to be one such area.
Yes, I think India's economy always has been a mixed economy, and by Western standards we are much more of a market economy than a public sector-driven economy.
Unity and secularism will be the motto of the government. We can't afford divisive polity in India.
If you don't have a functioning financial system the world economy won't be revived. All the major economies have their responsibility to assist at a pace which is required to clean up the balance sheet of the banking system and to ensure that credit flows are resumed.