MIT economist Abhijit Banerjee flays government in appointing Shaktikanta Das as RBI Governor

By: |
Mumbai | Published: December 11, 2018 9:53:23 PM

Indian-American economist Abhijit Banerjee Tuesday flayed government for appointing retired bureaucrat Shaktikanta Das as the next RBI Governor, and warned that the decision leaves a lot of "frightening" questions about governance issues at key public institutions.

Shaktikanta Das, RBI Governor, GDP, Central Statistics Office, demonetisation, news on shaktikanta das, latest news on shaktikanta das“Institutions exist, partly to give us forbearance, to say that ‘even if I want it, I can’t do it, my hands are tied.’ We should tie our hands a bit more. But this is too much untying,” Banerjee added.

Indian-American economist Abhijit Banerjee Tuesday flayed government for appointing retired bureaucrat Shaktikanta Das as the next RBI Governor, and warned that the decision leaves a lot of “frightening” questions about governance issues at key public institutions. The professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) made a strong pitch for strengthening the credibility of all key institutions like the Reserve Bank. When asked about the appointment of Das, who oversaw the controversial demonetisation decision as the finance secretary, his first reaction was that we should be “frightened” at the possible governance outcomes.

“Institutions exist, partly to give us forbearance, to say that ‘even if I want it, I can’t do it, my hands are tied.’ We should tie our hands a bit more. But this is too much untying,” Banerjee added. On Patel’s sudden resignation Monday, he said “we should all worry if this is a sign of institutional stress”. On the changes made to GDP computation to show a dip in growth during the UPA era, he said Central Statistics Office has been doing important work for the last many decades and underscored the need to protect its credibility.

Also read| Shaktikanta Das appointed new RBI governor, a day after Urjit Patel stepped down

Banerjee suggested an impartial person, preferably someone from outside, should be assigned the task of going through the changes and confirming if it meets the best accepted practices. Earlier, delivering the seventh CK Prahlad memorial lecture, he said the country will continue to grow at a faster clip for the next few years, not because of its inherent strengths, but because of misallocation of resources till now. He, however, said there is a need for growth to be higher than 7 percent, stating that it is fast turning into the new Hindu rate of growth, and warned that we risk falling into the middle income trap if it continues at this rate.

Banerjee also expressed concerns on the current state of affairs, claiming he sees a political paralysis where the ideas are being good but there is a bit of trouble implementing them due to political reasons and lack of manpower within government. He also warned that the current state of affairs run the risk of the country slipping into a “civil war” or some strife because of the uneven growth.

Do you know What is Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR), Finance Bill, Fiscal Policy in India, Expenditure Budget, Customs Duty? FE Knowledge Desk explains each of these and more in detail at Financial Express Explained. Also get Live BSE/NSE Stock Prices, latest NAV of Mutual Funds, Best equity funds, Top Gainers, Top Losers on Financial Express. Don’t forget to try our free Income Tax Calculator tool.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1Covid-19: Catch up to trend-GDP difficult in three years
2E-commerce transactions grow up to 25% in second week of May
3FSDC meeting: Covid-induced challenges, relief measures under economic package top agenda