There is consensus on economic reform: Pranab
President Pranab Mukherjee believes that there is a cross-party consensus in India on the core principles of economic liberalisation and policy reform.
After the initial focus on building industrial and educational infrastructure in the post-independence era, “we decided that there should be a major change in our policies,” Mr. Mukherjee stated.
“And that [economic liberalisation] was introduced by former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, when he was Finance Minister in 1991. Subsequently, there have been several governments led by different parties, including the Indian National Congress. All political parties have accepted the basic principle that liberalisation of economy, decontrol, deregulation and exposure to foreign investment is needed,” the President said in an interview to a Finnish television channel.
Asked about the malaise of corruption, the President said it was a matter of concern. “Corruption must be handled, controlled and eradicated through certain institutional arrangements.”
“I am happy that there is growing concern amongst the people about corruption and, this gets reflected in the actions of elected representatives of the people,” the President said.
Education and research
The President lamented the fact that India had not paid enough attention to education and research something that countries like Norway and Finland has focused on.
“Unfortunately, in India we have not paid much attention to research, development and innovation. I am now emphasising that and I am happy our Ministry of Human Resource Development is also working on it and encouraging it. It is not only in the education sector. The quantum of investments in research and innovation by Indian industry is also very less,” he said.