ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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NEW DELHI-Following the World Bank-IMF Line

NEW DELHI Following the World Bank-IMF Line BM THE Union Finance Minister V P Singh, is desperately trying to regain his prestige and reputation as a forthright and forthcoming politician. He was indeed placed in a very awkward position when the Prime Minister thought it worthwhile and expedient to cast on him the entire responsibility for the wide- ranging pre-budget hike in the administered prices which has led to so much political- populist furore against the government. The Prime Minister evidently preferred to pretend that he was so sensitive to public opinion that he had to act fast to extract from the Finance Minister a downward revision, even though very small, in the price increases in the case of petroleum products announced by the Finance Ministry. All this was, however, so clumsily managed and the pretence of the Prime Minister could be seen to be so patently false that the Mr Clean image of the Prime Minister, of which he is said to be very jealous and which has been sought to be projected so assiduously and Jaboriously since his assumption of office, has probably suffered more damage than might have happened if he had stood by the Finance Minister for a decision taken not only with his concurrence but on his direction through his secretariat. It is said that the Finance Minister even considered submitting his resignation but did not or was persuaded not to because this is simply not done by Congress(I) men these days, V P Singh has since been trying to salvage his position and probably also his conscience by standing forth as the standard bearer of planned economic development who is heroically trying against all odds to mobilise resources for the Seventh Plan and the development commitments embodied in it.

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