Raghuram Rajan : Around Rs 65,000 crores will be needed to help the poor in India hit hard by the nationwide coronavirus lockdown, renowned economist Raghuram Rajan told Rahul Gandhi in a video interaction released by the Congress.
“We need to be cleverer in lifting the lockdown. We need to open up in a measured way as India does not have the capacity to feed people for long. We have to manage the reopening so when there are cases we isolate them,” he said.
This is the first in a series of video-dialogues of the Congress MP with intellectuals on charting a path to recovery after the pandemic. The move is seen as an attempt to give Rahul Gandhi – often derided by the BJP as someone who should “take tuitions” from experts like Manmohan Singh and P Chidambaram – a greater profile in the main opposition party’s offensive against the government’s policies.
The Congress leader replied that he saw deep-seated inequality in India as the biggest difference between the two nations.
“One of the things that annoy me is the level of inequality. A lot of social change required in India. Different states have different issues. A blanket solution will not work for India. But there is an element in our governance system of control. You cannot control COVID-19. But I think this is historic, even before the British. That is one of the challenges we are facing,” Mr. Gandhi replied.