New Delhi: Noted economist and former Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan, in an interaction with former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, on Thursday said India should lift the lockdown in a measured way and that it needs Rs 65,000 crore to help poor in the country.
"It is easy to have a lockdown forever", Mr Rajan said and added, "but that would not be sustainable for Indian economy. We need to be clever in lifting the lockdown. We need to open up in a measured way as India does not have capacity to feed people for long".
Mr Gandhi, via video conferencing, organised by the Congress party, will interact with experts from India and across the world in coming days over COVID-19 and its impacts.
"This is the first of a series of conversations with global and Indian thought leaders", he said.Mr Gandhi asked to Mr Rajan how much money will be required to help the poor in the country and the latter replied that India needs around Rs 65,000 crore."We will need Rs 65,000 crore, it is not that much. This is to save the lives of the poor".
Mr Gandhi asked the former RBI Governor's opinion on the authoritarian model to which he replied, "It's appealing to the people who are disempowered and it gives them the sense that here is a strong figure and you will be taken care of."
Mr Rajan, currently a professor at the University of Chicago, was appointed by the then UPA government in 2013.During the interaction, Mr Rajan also asked the Congress leader about his opinion on the India and the US model to deal with the deadly virus.
"You cannot compare the measures taken in the US to that in India. The level of inequality you see in India is nowhere to be seen. Our societies are very different. Different states have different issues. Caste is such a factor. There can't be a blanket solution for the whole of India as we have a different society structure unlike the US. A lot of social change required in India", he answered.(UNI)