Manmohan Singh: Good FM and Bad PM

May 3, 2014

- By Asad Dossani, Author, The Lucrative Derivative Report

Asad Dossani
The current Prime Minister (PM) Manmohan Singh is due to step down once the election is over. This comes as the Congress party is expected to perform extremely poorly in this election. Most of the current electorate has a negative view of the PM and the Congress party. Where did it all go wrong?

In 1991, Manmohan Singh was appointed as finance minister (FM) at a time when India faced an economic crisis. He oversaw and implemented large scale economic reforms; effectively turning India from a socialist to a capitalist economy. Following the reforms, the Indian economy boomed like never before, and experienced large economic benefits from the liberalization program.

This was one of the most significant events in India's economic history. As a result of his efforts as the FM, he become highly regarded as an economist and a policy maker. He eventually become the opposition leader, then became PM in 2004, and then got reelected in 2009.

During this first term as PM, the Indian economy performed extremely well. The country achieved growth rates close to 10% for much of his tenure. Even during the global financial crisis, the Indian economy did better than most other countries. The PM and Congress party were rewarded for their efforts and were reelected into government in 2009.

Since then, it has been mostly downhill for the PM, the government, and the country's economy. The PM has been unable to push through significant economic reforms in recent years. They have been unable to tackle problems of inflation, food shortages, poverty, lower growth, bureaucracy, contraction in manufacturing, and poor infrastructure.

Most of all, they have been unable to deal with corruption. Numerous corruption scandals have emerged in recent years, and the Congress party has been involved with these scandals on a large scale. One of main reasons that the current government is so unpopular is the issue of corruption. As a result of trying to reduce the negative impact of corruption on themselves, the government has been unable to push through meaningful economic reforms.

Manmohan Singh will be remembered as a good FM but a bad PM. Especially in recent years, he has been relatively quiet and unwilling to address the problems facing the government and the country. One cannot help but imagine that his age would be a factor in his declining performance. At 81 years old, he does not have the same energy or drive that he had as FM in 1991, or even 10 years ago when he first become PM. Nonetheless, he has made has mark on Indian economic history. Goodbye and Thank you, Manmohan Singh. Now it is time for a change.

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is a financial analyst and columnist. He actively trades his own and others' funds, investing primarily in currency, commodity, and stock index derivative products. Prior to this, he worked at Deutsche Bank as an analyst in the FX derivatives team. He is a graduate of the London School of Economics. Asad is a keen observer of macroeconomic trends and their effects on global financial markets. He is deeply passionate about educating investors, and encouraging individuals to take part in and profit from financial markets. To put it colloquially, he wishes to take Wall Street products and turn them into Main Street profits!

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26 Responses to "Manmohan Singh: Good FM and Bad PM"


May 13, 2014

I do not understand what is amasadvala's problem with this article that was very well analysed and presented the facts.rajendra singh has answered very well;if amasaldvala feels that MMS has done excellent job as PM ,reducing the corruption,improved the economy and welfare of the people at largeet etc he should put his view with facts and make the readers aware of the good work of MMS as PM.India is a decomcracy and people have entrusted the governance of this country to him(party) and has evry right to express their opinion.I fail to understand why he is disappointd and i feel he should explain to us why he feels so ?



May 8, 2014

Time and again We read of PM's past, It like talking of childhood good times , time and again when person is too old ,on a death bed.does it help in anyway? I feel Indian economy performed extremely well from 2004~09 because NDA planted seeds for growth, it just happened fruit was visible in next 5 years of UPA.Real taste of PM started from(2009-14) is before all of us to prove beyond doubt PM(was)a intelligent FM ,but it's history now, let's talk what good he has done as PM since 2009,He has forgotten everything else he would have resigned


M M Amalsadvala

May 7, 2014

I feel raising such a topic was not justified.
It should be withdrawn.
It does not give credit to you and Equitymaster to promote such articles.
Please have this opinion of mine circulated to all the subscribers - if you have the courage to do so.
I shall watch the decision.
With deep sense of disappointments.



May 5, 2014

he is an economist and not a politician.hence was bound to fail.



May 5, 2014

Kaphan was one of the co-founders of Amazon. He had exceptional technical knowledge. But, he was thrown out of the company. One of the reasons is that he was not good at political martial arts. Rather than reading Chanakya’s Arthashastra or Machiavelli’s 'The Prince', he learnt new programming languages. It is harsh reality that the same thing applies to any business or political leader.


Rajendra Singh

May 5, 2014

As finance minister he had the benefit of a PM with spine (who did not go down well with the first family) and unfortunately as PM he proved to be spineless!


subramanian sambasivam

May 5, 2014

Mr Manmohan Singh did NO responsible work for Indian public. Let him keep mum always


Gopal Kalpathi

May 5, 2014

India's political history (post independace) has been dominated by Nehru-Gandhi family. In these 67 years, they have ruled India (more autocratically than democratically) over 80% of the time. It was quite surprising that just only 4 times there have been Prime Ministerwho are not family members - Seelam Sanjeeva Redy, Lal Bhadur Shastri, P V Narasimha Rao and now Dr. Manmohan Singh. Every time a non-family member becomes the prime minister it had happened only because of extraordinary circumstances and there have also been internal pressures from Nehru-Gandhi loyalists of Congress party that these PMs have found going not taht easy.

What I think, was the laststraw on Dr. M. Sing was the twin burden of a slowing global economy as well as the Congress'internal power center working against him. There could have been another reason, when Ms. Soniaji had not been able to become the PM she must have been harbouring how to get there, albeit, by proxy. This strugle itself, as sensed by the Cong. loyalists, started shooting an working against Dr. Singh.

As they say "Áll is well that ....." for all.



May 5, 2014

Atlast some pat for Dr MM ....He did his job ....let wait for the next era...



May 4, 2014

Your analysis is perfectly correct. He did not follow Gavaskar's advice to quit honorably at right time (Just see what Mandela did) S.Venkataraman

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