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Road Ahead More Daunting, Need To Recalibrate Priorities: Manmohan Singh

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New Delhi: Asserting the road ahead is even more daunting than during the 1991 economic crisis, former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Friday said the country would need to recalibrate its priorities to ensure a dignified life for all Indians.

“It is not a time to rejoice and exult but to introspect and ponder. The road ahead is even more daunting than during the 1991 crisis,” said Dr Singh in a statement marking the 30th anniversary of economic liberalisation.

“Our priorities as a nation need to be recalibrated to foremost ensure a healthy and dignified life for every single Indian,” he added in a statement marking the 30th anniversary of economic liberalisation.

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The former prime minister said the Congress Party on this day, 30 years ago in 1991, ushered in significant reforms of India’s economy and paved a new path for the nation’s economic policy.

He added the successive governments have over the last three decades followed this path to catapult India to a USD 3 trillion economy and into the league of the world’s largest economies.

Dr Singh said nearly 300 million fellow Indians have been lifted out of poverty in this period and added hundreds of millions of new jobs have been provided for the youth.

He said the reforms process unleashed the spirit of free enterprise which has helped produce world-class companies and help India emerge as a global power in many sectors.

“The economic liberalisation process in 1991 was triggered by an economic crisis that confronted our nation then, but it was not limited to crisis management. The edifice of India’s economic reforms was built on the desire to prosper, the belief in our capabilities and the confidence to relinquish control of the economy by the government,” PTI quoted Dr Singh as saying.

The former prime minister said that he was fortunate to play a role in this reform process along with several of his Congress colleagues.

Dr Singh recalled that he ended his budget speech as the country’s Finance Minister in 1991 by quoting Victor Hugo, ‘No power on Earth can stop an idea whose time has come’.

“Thirty years later, as a nation, we must remember Robert Frost’s poem — ‘But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep’,” he said.

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Dr Singh further said that he was deeply saddened at the devastation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“But I am also deeply saddened at the devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the loss of millions of fellow Indians,” he said and lamented too many lives and livelihoods have been lost that should not have been.

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