Some people — who seem to have a penchant for Paglanomics — have said that whatever Vishnu has achieved before is not doable again because the circumstances are different blah blah blah. But given that Sithanen took over almost immediately — SAJ presented a budget in between — from Lutchmeenaraidoo in 1991 we can look at what happened to some of the most important macroeconomic indicators when the ministerial baton was being passed. For an indication of relative skill as the environment was more or less the same.
For example the rate of unemployment around that period offers some fascinating insights. As the chart illustrates Vishnu decreased the unemployment rate every single year from 14.8% in 1985 to 2.8% in 1990. But the story changes as soon as Rama takes over. Indeed he increased the unemployment rate every single year. From 2.7% to 5.1%. And he increased it with surprising regularity: by exactly 0.6%. Which makes it so easy to remember.
I’ve also listened carefully to interviews of the two gentlemen about the economy on radio. Mr. Lutchmenaraidoo comes across as a pleasant, humble and competent person with a serious plan. And Dr. Sithanen the exact opposite.