Indian History
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Five must read books around India’s historic 1991 Budget and economic transformation

Image courtesy: Hindustan Times
Image source: Hindustan Times

When Mr. Manmohan Singh presented his first budget as India’s finance minister on 24 July 1991, India had just three weeks of foreign reserve left. Meaning, that India would not be able to pay any other country for the imports they’ll do after three weeks. This economic crisis was brought forth by India’s domestic policies and the over-reliance on the soviet union. The collapse of the soviet union in 1991 and the outbreak of the Gulf war pushed India into a severe economic crisis.

Domestically, the country was not stable either. There was unrest in the Kashmir valley. The United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) had just started demanding a separate state. Former prime minister Mr. Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by LTTE two months before the budget.

What happened next was nothing short of a miracle. Within a matter of a year, India recovered from the economic crisis. The financial and foreign policies laid by Mr. Manmohan Singh and Mr. PV Narsihma Rao helped India remove the tag of a third-world country.

There have been numerous articles and papers around the topic. However, these five books present a first-hand account of India’s situation and how our policymakers’ sheer willpower turned the country around.

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