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Restricting banking to Indian ownership a mistake: Abhijit Banerjee

Speaking During a webinar at the TiE Global Summit, Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee said nobody other than foreign capitalists would have the kind of fund depth to write down the debt of the Indian banking system.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: December 10, 2020 8:56:44 am
Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee

The Indian banking system is “half-dead” and will need a lot of capital for revival, which can only come from foreign sources, Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee said on Wednesday.

“I think restricting it to Indian ownership is, to me, a mistake. I think we have some ideological view that Indian capitalists are somehow good capitalists and foreign capitalists are bad capitalist,” Banerjee said during a webinar at the TiE Global Summit.

Banerjee was speaking about the condition of banking sector in India, and said that nobody other than foreign capitalists would have that kind of fund depth to write down the debt of the Indian banking system.

“The reason why we need that debt written down is that banking sector, in a sense, is the zombie banking sector. They are sort of the living dead. If you examine their books carefully, a lot of them are not actually viable, they are in the red,” the Nobel Prize winner in Economics said.

Banerjee also highlighted the need for a supportive residential infrastructure for migrant workers, and said that short term migrations meant that there was not much of skill up-gradation happening, adding that the reason why growth contributed to poverty reduction was not necessarily through good jobs but through bad jobs.

“It’s mostly through jobs in the construction and low ends of the service sector. If you see, where the jobs are growing, they are growing in transportation, they are growing in food delivery, they are growing in restaurants. This is the domestic consumption-led boom. Exporting industries are not using a lot of our labour,” he said.

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