Days after Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee painted a dismal picture of the Indian economy, Union Minister Piyush Goyal Friday said the economist has “totally left-leaning thinking” and that he had supported Congress’ proposal of NYAY scheme which was rejected by people of the country in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Goyal said although he’s proud that an Indian has been awarded the Nobel Prize in economics, he doesn’t agree with Banerjee’s ideas.
When asked about criticism drawn by the government’s handling of the economy by former prime minister Manmohan Singh and Banerjee, Goyal rubbished these evaluations.
“Banerjee has recently got the Nobel Prize and I congratulate him. Lekin Unki Samjh Ke Baare Mein to Aap Sab Jante hain. (You all know about his understanding (of economy). His thinking is totally left-leaning. He had supported NYAY (Congress’s electoral promise in Lok Sabha poll) scheme and had praised it heavily. People of India have totally rejected his thinking,” said Goyal.
He further said, “I’m proud that an Indian has got the Nobel prize, but it’s not necessary that I should agree with his ideas. Especially when the people of this country rejected his suggestion, I think we don’t need to accept his ideas.”
When asked to respond to the criticism by former PM Manmohan Singh on the state of economy, Goyal said ,”I am surprised that Manmohan Singh, who is an economist of great stature, didn’t see that the dire state in which he had left the economy in 2014 and how the centre and state governments have turned it around.”
He criticised Singh alleging that several scams including alleged telecom scam, coal scam, irrigation scam in Maharashtra happened under his watch.
“When all these scams were unfolding before his eyes, he had only one answer: ‘These are the compulsions of coalition politics’. What a shameful thing for a prime minister to speak about coalition politics to save his government when he should have acted in the national interest and in the of the people,” said Goyal who accused Singh of leaving the economy in a very bad shape when the UPA rule ended in 2014.
In response to another question pertaining to the transfer of RBI reserves of Rs 1.76 lakh to the government earlier this year, Goyal said that the decision was not taken by the government but by a committee headed by former RBI governor.
“We didn’t have to take it. The money was lying with RBI without any purpose (be-buniyaad). There was a committee with former governor Bimal Jalan, former deputy governor Rakesh Mohan and other experts which decided in favour of the transfer. And I must tell you we too understand economy a little bit – although I don’t know as much as Manmohan Singh, I also know a little bit – today RBI has total reserves of about 10-11 lakh crore. I have studied this issue in detail and hence I can tell you that there’s no purpose to keep 10-11 lakh reserves with the RBI. The reserves are disproportionately high to the bank’s balance sheet. And there’s very little possibility that the RBI would need that money,” said Goyal.
On Friday, Goyal visited Pune as part of the party’s assembly election campaign and held meetings with city traders listening to their concerns about the GST. He also held a press conference in which he said the BJP-Sena alliance was confident of winning over 220 seats in the 288-member Assembly in Maharashtra.