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Shvoong Home>Books>Biographies>Confessions of a Swadeshi Reformer Review

Confessions of a Swadeshi Reformer

Book Review   by:anil ekbote     Original Author: Yashwant Sinha
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Yashwant Sinha is perhaps the first and original reformer Finance Minister of India. Some of the reforms attributable to him include the shift of the Budget Session in the Parliament from 5 pm to a11 am, cleaning up indirect taxes – excise and transition to VAT, reduction of real interest rate, Kisan (farmer) credit cards, Action Taken Reports (ATR) on budget pronouncements and the National Highway Development Programme (NHDP). As such it is interesting to see what he has to say about his stint in the Ministry of Finance. The book is in three parts and thirty short chapters and is actually spoken to Vimala Veluchamy. The first and the last sections are fairly juicy. Sadly the country and also the world were unkind to him. May be because of the perception that he never had the Prime Minister’s confidence and that he was a Hobson’s choice thrust by the RSS, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. All through he was also given the Swadeshi tag, which he has proudly included in the title of this autobiography. He was also an unlucky Finance Minister. Pokhran nuclear test, Kargil conflict, terrorist attack on the Parliament, earthquake in Gujarat and the Godhra tragedy were all during his tenure. Furthermore, there were scams and scandals like UTI MarkI and II, treaty with Mauritius, Ketan Parikh, Tehelka sting operation, Mohan Guruswamy and Flex industries, not to forget Chairman CBCE’s arrest by CBI. He also earned a f roll back tag because of not only the urea prices and tax proposals, but also insurance sector and labour market reforms. Yashwant Sinha confesses that had there been more competent and experienced civil officers many problems could have been avoided. There is no titillating material in the book but this is made up by several interesting anecdotes and spicy tit bits.
Published: July 04, 2007   
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