Yashwant Sinha could have become first reformist Finance minister: Pranab

Former President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday released the autobiography of Yashwant Sinha and agreed with his observation that economy is 'the last priority' of a politician in India.

Quoting from the 'Relentless', penned by Yashwant who served as Finance minister in Chandra Shekhar government (1990- 1991), Pranab said that he could have become the first reformist Finance Minister of the country.

The Chandra Shekhar government supported from outside by Congress was formed in November 1990 and collapsed in June next year after the grand old party withdrew its support to it.

"The dictum which he (Yashwant) said is absolutely correct that for a politician economy is the last priority in India," Pranab said reading paras from the book.

Referring to the developments surrounding the Chandra Shekhar government, Pranab said "Yashwant Sinha could have become the first reformist Finance Minister of the country but he was prevented from presenting a budget that could have changed the economic landscape of the country."

Yashwant extensively detailed in his book about how he realised consequences of not presenting a regular budget but was told "saving the government was more important than the economy."

India was passing through one of its worst economic crises in the early 1990s which was later addressed by P.V Narasimha Rao government in which Manomohan Singh served as the Finance Minister.

Yashwant also served as Finance minister from March 1998 to July 2002 under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

(Agencies)