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Kaushik Basu's remark on economic reforms receive flak from Shahid Siddiqui

April 20, 2012 - New Delhi

The statement of Chief Economic Advisor Kaushik Basu in Washington that major economic reforms are unlikely before 2014 polls are attracting flak from the opposition and even the government is expressing reservation in endorsing his statement.

Shahid Siddiqui of the Samajwadi Party calls the assessment of Kaushik Basu 'strange'. He said that India will not have a one party government any more for the next ten to fifty years. He said that the lack of decisions is not because of the coalition government at the Centre, but because of the prevalent corruption cases.

"The economist must learn to work with a coalition government and decision should be taken in a coalition government. I am sure that the lack of decisions is not because of the coalition government; it is because of the corruption cases, which have come out. The government is paralyzed," he said.

Siddiqui further said the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, is unable to take most of the decisions because there is a division of leadership in the UPA.

"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is unable to take most of the decisions. There is no leadership at the top. There seems to be a division of leadership between Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and even a third center of power in Rahul Gandhi. Therefore, they should understand that this country will have to move forward," said Siddiqui.

He added:" The leadership is directionless. Manmohan Singh is unable to understand that the country needs not only reforms, but also equitable distribution," he added.

Basu earlier said reforms are unlikely before the 2014 elections.

"We are going through a difficult year. (After 2014), you would see a rush of important reforms and after 2015 India would be one of the fastest growing economies of the world. The new government, if in a majority, would start with the reforms in a big way because there is a sense that it needs to pick up," he said, while addressing a meeting at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, an eminent Washington-based think tank, on Wednesday.


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