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Pranab Mukherjee: A finance minister who believed in absolute authority of government on economy, taxes and RBI

It won’t be an exaggeration to say that Pranab Mukherjee, as finance minister, presided over a period of high growth riding on post-crisis stimulus. Problem was that growth was built on weak economic fundamentals.

September 01, 2020 / 09:14 AM IST

Till his resignation from the post of finance minister in 2012, Pranab Mukherjee was regarded as one of the most influential leaders in the Congress party and in the Manomhan Singh government.

He wore with aplomb many hats—the government’s top trouble-shooter, a consensus builder in the party, a skilled political negotiator and one of the few leaders who could cut across party lines to resolve any crisis.

That said, an evaluation of Mukherjee’s term as country’s finance minister, particularly his second stint (2009-2012), would show it wasn’t all good with the economy.

By the time Mukherjee bid adieu to the North Block to contest the presidential election, the fiscal scenario was showing early signs of stress. That was a period when India’s fiscal situation worsened and the economy began to fall into a crisis phase after witnessing a high growth period, riding on the post global financial crisis fiscal stimulus.