Former prime minister Manmohan Singh, who turns 88 on Saturday, continues to inspire young lawmakers from his vast parliamentary and governance experience. Singh, one of the veteran leaders of Congress, is in his sixth term at the Rajya Sabha and gives key inputs as a lawmaker particularly on economy related issues in Parliament.
The most recent praise for Singh has come in his role as a member of the parliamentary standing committee on finance, which he has been part of since August 2019 when he got re-elected to the Upper House. Members across the treasury benches and the Opposition from the committee say Singh’s inputs have been valuable as he guides the members on key issues.
“It is an extraordinary privilege and I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with the honourable former Prime Minister in the standing committee on finance. We greatly benefited from his wisdom and experience in all of our consultations. He has unmatched experience as the former governor of the Reserve Bank of India, as the former illustrious finance minister, and of course as the honourable former prime minister of the country,” Jayant Sinha, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, who chairs the finance committee said in an interview.
“To have him by our side and benefit from his counsel on these matters is an extraordinary privilege and I count myself as very lucky as a person to listen to his advice and perspective on economic issues. I have been very fortunate to benefit from the mentorship and guidance of stalwarts like the late former finance minister Arun Jaitley ji and obviously Dr Manmohan Singh,” Sinha added.
Some of the key meetings that Singh attended of the finance committee this year include those on amendments to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, which had representation from the corporate affairs ministry and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India, among others.
Members of the committee said Singh has given some key inputs during its deliberations particularly those related to taxation matters. “He has immense experience and it shows when he brings perspective to issues that we discuss in the committee. He takes a lot of interest in taxation issues particularly the goods and services tax. Attending the same meeting as him means we get an idea of how to raise the issue and what to focus on. His presence continues to be a learning experience,” a young opposition member of the committee said requesting anonymity.