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The economist speaks

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Do not be misled. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s stolid expression and glazed eyes don’t mean he is not listening to the debate. He’s all there, quietly digesting everything that’s being said. During the debate on foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail in the Rajya Sabha, it was the prime minister in alligator mode that took even the suave Member of Parliament aback. N K Singh, while defending his position that FDI was bad for the country, said when someone asked economist John Galbraith to explain why he changed his mind about something, he replied: “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, Sir?”

N K Singh would have rattled on, but was stopped when the prime minister remonstrated with him. “It was not Galbraith but John Maynard Keynes,” the PM said.

“How can I argue with someone of your eminence?” N K Singh conceded.

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