India's finance minister Arun Jaitley rips into Nehruvian model

Mumbai, India Updated: Aug 20, 2016, 09:03 AM(IST)

Arun Jaitley. Photograph:( Getty )

India's finance minister Arun Jaitley today launched a withering criticism of former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and PV Narasimha Rao. 

The senior minister, who belongs to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), also took a swipe at Congress's rule between 2004 and 2014, saying the last government neglected productivity.

"That model of development was the reason India couldn't get up to a growth rate of even 1 per cent in those early decades," the 63-year-old minister said, referring to the Nehruvian model, a liberal approach to fabianist socialism, adopted by the country after independence in 1947. 

Sharpening his attack further, Jaitley said, "Less than 1 per cent of the population had a phone. Other countries were developing, India wasn't, (but) that was the model of development we were following." 

The minister also blew holes in the popular perception that Congress prime minister Rao fast-tracked the country into economic liberalisation in 1991.

He said the economy opened up due to fiscal expediency. "The reforms in 1991 were due to bankruptcy ...otherwise he was conservative," the minister said during a meeting in Mumbai. 

Read in App