Free trade is good economics as well as politics: Arvind Panagariya

By: | Updated: November 4, 2018 4:45 AM

The removal of various restrictions on trade lifted India’s exports six times in nine years through 2011-12 to over $300 billion, eminent economist and former vice-chairman of Niti Aayog, Arvind Panagariya, said on Saturday.

Arvind Panagariya on Saturday launched his new book ‘Free Trade and Prosperity’ at the Constitution Club

The removal of various restrictions on trade lifted India’s exports six times in nine years through 2011-12 to over $300 billion, eminent economist and former vice-chairman of Niti Aayog, Arvind Panagariya, said on Saturday, making a case for keeping trade free of curbs even in times of growing protectionism in the US and others. Asserting that free trade is good economics as well as politics, Panagariya said even the Indian electorate never objected to liberalisation; instead it benefitted from imported products like cell phones that caused telecom revolution in the country.

Domestic industry, too, gained. Industrialist Rahul Bajaj, for instance, was critical of globalisation in 1990s, perhaps for fears that it would make Bajaj scooters redundant. Today, thanks to liberalisation, his son Rajiv Bajaj has made a mark in bike production, even though scooters sales are down, Panagariya said.

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