"India Has Not Done Anything Close To Enough To Help Poor During Pandemic": Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee

Stressing on the need of the hour, Dr Banerjee said that the country needs to chalk out "a clear, well-articulated plan on what should be done next."

India   |   25 April 2020 6:16 AM GMT / Updated : 2020-04-25T14:40:44+05:30
Writer : Palak Agrawal | Editor : Shubhendu Deshmukh | Creatives : Vijay S Hegde
India Has Not Done Anything Close To Enough To Help Poor During Pandemic: Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee

Image Credits: AajKaal

Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee has said that India has not done "anything close to enough" to support the least advantaged strata during the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown imposed to mitigate the outbreak.

In an interview with the BBC, Dr Banerjee said that the Central government announced a welfare package of around ₹1.7 lakh crore which was just 0.8 per cent of the GDP with an aim to provide food grains and cash support to the marginalised.

"We haven't done anything close to enough," he said.

"Possibly there is the fear of inflation when there is not much supply of goods and services. But India has to do something about [bridging] the income gap that has been created. The government has to be more aggressive about spending money."

Stressing on the need of the hour, he said that the country needs to chalk out "a clear, well-articulated plan on what should be done next."

He described that the economy was already facing a downturn and the coronavirus pandemic has added another blow due to which people have lost their earning capacity.

Banerjee said while the government was right in its preemptive decisions regarding the lockdown to contain and curb the transmission of the virus, it needs to be proactive to work on longterm plans regarding the crisis and be more generous in providing relief to the people who are dependent on it.

"This disease is going to be with us for a long time until a vaccine arrives, which is not anytime soon," he cautioned.

"People need reassurance. And the government has to be proactive in reassuring people," he told the BBC.

He recommended that additional cash must be handed out to the beneficiaries of existing welfare schemes so that a "mood for demand" could be created once the lockdown is lifted.

Also Read: 'She Was Family': BJP's Gautam Gambhir Performs Last Rites Of Domestic Help

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Palak Agrawal

Palak Agrawal

Digital Journalist

Palak a journalism graduate believes in simplifying the complicated and writing about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. She calls herself a " hodophile" or in layman words- a person who loves to travel.

Shubhendu Deshmukh

Shubhendu Deshmukh

Digital Editor

Shubhendu, the quint essential news junky, the man who loves science and politics in equal measure and offers the complete contrast to it by being a fan of urdu poetry as well.

Vijay S Hegde

Vijay S Hegde

Trainee Creative Producer

"I am a creative, artistic and ambitious designer, with a talent for thinking outside the box and coming up with innovative ideas and designs. I graduated with a 1st Class honors degree in Video Editing from MAYA ACADEMY OF ADVANCED CINEMATICS"

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