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‘Give Temporary Ration Cards, Bigger Stimulus Package’: Abhijit Banerjee to Rahul Gandhi on Covid-19 Hurdle

Rahul Gandhi in conversation with Abhijit Banerjee

Rahul Gandhi in dialog with Abhijit Banerjee

On May 4, the Congress celebration tweeted a 1.44-minute clip from their dialog and the total interview was launched on Wednesday.

  • Last Updated: May 5, 2020, 11:36 AM IST

New Delhi: Suggesting strategies to assist poor combat the after-effects of coronavirus lockdown, Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee on Tuesday mentioned that in conditions just like the one created by the pandemic, a nationalised Aadhaar card would have been useful for migrant staff as it will have given them entry to free ration.

“I think nationalisation of the Aadhaar would have been great now, especially for migrants. They could have gone to a PDS store in Mumbai and demanded ration. But right now they cannot do that. There is also, for example, NREGA. The migrants cannot demand employment in Mumbai, there is no NREGA there,” he mentioned throughout a dialog with Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.

The economist additionally recommended the introduction of a brief ration system for these in want and a suspension of different ration playing cards in the interim.

Banerjee made this assertion in his interview with former Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Gandhi has been internet hosting a collection of deliberations with specialists on the economic system and its well being.

Asked concerning the steps wanted to tug the Indian economic system from the impression of the lockdown necessitated by the coronavirus, Banerjee mentioned, “Many countries have introduced a stimulus package for small businesses. We are yet to take concrete steps towards it. Moratorium on debt payments is a good move, but we need to do more.”

Spending is the simplest technique to revive the economic system amid the Covid-19 disaster, he informed the Congress chief, including {that a} direct switch to folks to spend was a great way to make sure this.

“The real problem in the very short run is that these policies, good policies, put in place by the UPA are inadequate and the present government in a sense absolutely embraced them,” Banerjee mentioned.

On May 4, the Congress celebration tweeted a 1.44-minute clip from their dialog and the total interview was launched on Wednesday.

In the primary such dialogue, which was held final week, Gandhi mentioned the coronavirus pandemic and its financial implications with former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan.

During that dialogue, Rajan mentioned that India needs to be “cleverer” in lifting the lockdown and open up its economic system in a “measured way” quickly to save lots of jobs. He additionally mentioned that Rs 65,000 crore needs to be spent to help the poor who’ve been hit arduous by the disaster.

Talking about transferring advantages to the poor, Abhijit Banerjee mentioned the federal government wanted a mechanism with which the Centre would switch the cash to state governments.

“The real challenge is for people who are not covered by social security schemes. No such security cover is there for a large population like the migrant labourers,” Abhijit Banerjee mentioned.

During the course of the dialogue, Rahul Gandhi raised the problem of small companies dealing with a money crunch, to which Abhijit Banerjee mentioned, “We need a large stimulus package like the US. India has announced a package that is about to 1% of its GDP and US has announced a package of 10% of its GDP.”

“People are not buying in these times and spending is the easiest way to revive the economy. We cannot shut the entire retail sector because they are situated in the coronavirus red zone,” Banerjee famous.

Speaking on the migrant employee disaster, Abhijit Banerjee mentioned, “The migrant problem cannot be handled by the state governments alone and the Centre needs to manage this.”

To this, Rahul Gandhi added that the states needs to be given the liberty to handle the lockdown however the current authorities on the Centre held a special view.

Banerjee continued, “We have done a wise thing which is put a moratorium on debt payments. We could do a bit more – maybe permanently cancel it for that quarter. I think spending is the easiest way to revive the economy. A direct cash transfer – whether it’s to the poorest people – that is debatable. Targeting is extremely costly. I think it needs to be broader. We need to put money in the hands of people.”

On the problem of bouncing again from the financial disaster, Banerjee mentioned two issues had emerged.

“One is how to avoid a chain of bankruptcies, may be by writing off a lot of debts. Second is demand shortfall, and getting some cash into the hands of people is the best way to kick start the economy. I mean the US is doing it very aggressively and it is a Republican administration that is doing it just for economic survival. They have realised that we need to put money in people’s hands. And we should be taking a cue from them.”

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