Home India News "65,000 Crores To Help Poor": Raghuram Rajan To Rahul Gandhi On COVID-19

“65,000 Crores To Help Poor”: Raghuram Rajan To Rahul Gandhi On COVID-19

New Delhi: 

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.

The former RBI chief, speaking on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy, also said a prolonged lockdown would not be sustainable for the economy.

“We will need Rs 65,000 crore, it is not that much. This is to save the lives of the poor,” Raghuram Rajan replied in Hindi to one of the questions asked by the former Congress president.

“How much money will be required to help the poor. Kitna paisa lagega,” Rahul Gandhi had asked.

Mr. Rajan said it was “all too easy to have a lockdown forever”, but that would not be sustainable for the economy.

“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.

Mr. Rajan, currently a professor at the University of Chicago, was appointed by the Congress-led government as governor of the RBI or Reserve Bank of India in 2013 for a three-year period.

During the 30-minute interaction, Mr. Rajan also asked Mr. Gandhi how he compared the response in India and the US.

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.

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