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Reform Is The Way

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T.N. Srinivasan's contribution to economics has been remarkable. And this book, a collection of four of his talks, reflects his key arguments. Tracing the progress of the economy over the past six decades, the book is a good commentary of how our doctrines evolved in tune with the times. Evidently, Srinivasan is against the controlled system of economic governance and supports reforms, which he feels is what we should be working on in future to move ahead. While the first phase of the economy (1950-80) was one of control typified by the licence raj, the second (1980-92) was of profligacy. But this was when the first seeds of liberalisation were sown. The third, 1992-2008, is Srinivasan's favourite, where India moved towards consolidation and growth numbers were impressive until the financial crisis hit. This was the time for unshackling the economy. More importantly, it showed a lot of political will among all ruling parties.

The book also carries interesting commentaries from economists M. Narasimham, Y.V. Reddy, Sankar De and Rakesh Mohan. Mohan does not share the author's view that ours was a "bullock-cart system" and uses his own experiences at the RBI to refute this thought. This adds interest in reading as the views are not always in agreement with the author's.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 20-02-2012)