Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy praised Dr Manmohan Singh, P Chidambaram and Montek Singh Ahluwalia for the 1991 economic reforms. According to him, India ushered in "economic freedom" in 1991 owing to them. He made the statement in a podcast episode with TV Mohandas Pai.
Dr Manmohan Singh was the finance minister in 1991 when then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao presented the budget which is known for liberalising Indian economy. P Chidambaram was the Minister of State for Commerce Ministry and Montek Singh Ahluwalia was the commerce secretary.
In the episode of 'The Record', Murthy said that the country owes it to Narasimha Rao along with them. He said, "While we got political freedom in 1947, we got economic freedom only in 1991. And we owe it to Shri Narasimha Rao. Yes, Dr Manmohan Singh was his finance minister. If the Prime Minister had not fully supported Dr Manmohan Singh, I don’t know if it would have been possible. Dr Manmohan Singh, Shri Montek Singh Ahluwalia, and Shri P Chidambaram – these were the three people that ushered in economic freedom for India. We all should be very grateful to them.”
The reforms, according to Murthy, ensured that corporates could strategise in their boardrooms instead in the corridors of the North Block. He added that the reforms removed several licence requirements and did away with the office of the Controller of Capital Issues. "I don’t think he understood capital markets, there was hardly any capital market in Delhi, it was in Bombay," he said.
The 1991 economic reforms were triggered by a balance of payment crisis. PM Rao had inducted Manmohan Singh in the cabinet to draft the budget is credited with ending the 'licence raj' prevalent in the country.