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India among worst performing economies in world; stimulus inadequate: Abhijit Banerjee

Speaking at a virtual event, Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee said the country's economic growth was slowing down even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

By: PTI | New Delhi |
Updated: September 29, 2020 10:34:06 pm
Nobel Laureates Esther Duflo, left, and Abhijit Banerjee

Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee on Tuesday said India is among the worst performing economies in the world and the government’s economic stimulus was inadequate to tackle the problem. He, however, said that the country will see a revival in growth in the July-September quarter of the current fiscal.

Speaking at a virtual event, Banerjee said the country’s economic growth was slowing down even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

“Indian economy is among the worst performing in the world. The country’s economy will see revival in the current quarter (July-September),” he said, adding that economic growth in 2021 is going to be better than this year.

Banerjee, currently a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), said he does not think that India’s economic stimulus was adequate. “India’s economic stimulus was limited. It was a bank bailout. I think we could have done more,” he said.

The stimulus measures “did not increase consumption spending of lower income people as the government was not willing to put money in the hands of the low income population,” he noted.

Talking about inflation, Banerjee said India’s growth strategy was closed economy with the government creating lots of demand, which resulted in high growth and inflation. “India had 20 years of high inflation and high growth. The country benefited a lot from stable high inflation in the last 20 years,” he opined.

The eminent economist noted that India needs to be globally more competitive.

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