PM Modi meets Abhijit Banerjee, says India proud of his accomplishments

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Published: October 22, 2019 12:55:44 PM

The meeting between Prime Minister Modi and Abhijit Banerjee is a positive development as both are known to have different economic thinking. Banerjee was also among those economists who were behind the Congress' guaranteed minimum income scheme — NYAY.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday met Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee and said India was proud of his accomplishments. He called his meeting with the India-born economist ‘excellent’, where they both had extensive interaction on various subjects. “Excellent meeting with Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee. His passion towards human empowerment is clearly visible. We had a healthy and extensive interaction on various subjects. India is proud of his accomplishments. Wishing him the very best for his future endeavours,” the prime minister said in a tweet.

Abhijit Banerjee was awarded the Nobel in economics for his experimental approach to alleviating global poverty. He shared the prize with two other economists — Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer. Esther Duflo happens to be Banerjee’s wife.

The meeting between Prime Minister Modi and Abhijit Banerjee is a positive development as both are known to have different economic thinking. Banerjee was also among those economists who were behind the Congress’ guaranteed minimum income scheme — NYAY. The Nobel laureate has been critical of a number of decisions by the central government such as demonetisation, GST and over-centralisation of decision making.

In a lecture delivered earlier this month, Abhijit Banerjee had said that the current government controls almost every institution through the Prime Minister’s Office, which is not good for the decision-making process in any country. He also said that recent corporate tax cuts, which BJP hailed as the second biggest reform, will not deliver the intended results. He said the current slowdown is consumption-driven, which means that people do not have money to buy things — so in such a situation, the government needs to give money directly in the people’s hand instead this government has done exactly the opposite. He said that the Centre has by reducing taxes given more money to corporates who will now sit on cash as there is no demand so there is no point investing it further.

The Congress has also attacked the government for the tax cut which it believes helps only big businessmen and it hopes to implement NYAY which it claims Abhijit helped conceptualise. Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi both attacked the Modi government for mocking NYAY which Abhijit advised. However, the economist has clarified that he had no role in designing the scheme and he just provided the information on the costing side.

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