22 September, 2020

The New Men In North Block

Yashwant Sinha brings in A new reform-oriented team as part of an image-boosting exercise

The New Men In North Block

WHAT does a finance minister do when his maiden Budget fails to impress, his proposals fail to warm up the investment climate and he's constrained by an anti-reform mindset within his own party? He talks tough, reshuffles his team and embarks upon a country-wide image makeover to show his best reform-oriented face to the people.

That's what Yashwant Sinha is doing these days. First, he gave a few very optimistic interviews and speeches, then he brought in the formidable reformer Vijay Laxman Kelkar as his finance secretary and ex-enforcement boss Jawed Chaudhary as his revenue secretary. And now, Sinha has embarked upon a series of roadshows throughout the country, to clarify that he and his party are as committed to reforms as his predecessors, if not more.

The exercise, which began last week with a series of meetings with the apex industrial chambers, will be carried on before people who matter in the economy—think tanks, economists, industrialists and opinion makers. The finance minister's agenda is well planned and will...



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