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Title:BJP's Personal Criticism is Upsetting: Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee to Karan Thapar

The BJP's personal criticism is upsetting, this year's Nobel laureate for economics Abhijit Banerjee has told The Wire. In a 47 mt interview to Karan Thapar, Prof Banerjee said the over centralization of power in the PMO was an important cause of the economic crisis facing the country. The others were probably demonetisation and GST. However, Prof Banerjee made a point of saying no other govt would have handled GST better. The problems it created were inevitable. Prof Banerjee also said the corporate tax cuts were unlikely to fuel investment and spur growth unless steps were first taken to stimulate demand. The best way of increasing demand was not income tax cuts but putting money in rural pockets through schemes like PMKisan. Also, the govt must pay its dues and not hold up money to suppliers and delay project payments. He said rural demand had collapsed because the govt had deliberately lowered minimum support prices for crops and depressed agricultural spending to contain urban inflation. This was also a significant cause of the economic slowdown. Professor Banerjee also called for labour reforms permitting hire and fire and land acquisition reforms. Such reforms were only possible in a crisis and, as he put it, the govt must not waste this crisis. Prof Banerjee pointed out that NREGA was not performing as efficiently as we need because the process of kick-starting it was too slow and as a result rural distress has not been ameliorated. He cited studies to show NREGA was not effective in times of drought though that was when it was most needed. Finally, Prof Banerjee spoke of social media which, he said, increases polarisation, spreads false news and promotes intolerance and nastiness. It can have a very adverse impact on democracy and it's a substantial part of the explanation for rising violence against dalits and muslims. He said the required response was faster police action against social media messages that break the law and incite violence but not restrictions on free speech. #AbhijitBanerjee #KaranThapar Like our work? Click here to support The Wire: thewire.in/support The founding premise of The Wire is this: if good journalism is to survive and thrive, it can only do so by being both editorially and financially independent. This means relying principally on contributions from readers and concerned citizens who have no interest other than to sustain a space for quality journalism. As a publication, The Wire will be firmly committed to the public interest and democratic values. We publish in four different languages! For English, visit www.thewire.in for Hindi: thewirehindi.com/ for Urdu: thewireurdu.com for Marathi: marathi.thewire.in If you are a young writer or a creator, you can submit articles, essays, photos, poetry – anything that’s straight out of your imagination – to LiveWire, The Wire’s portal for the young, by the young. livewire.thewire.in/ You can also follow The Wire’s social media platforms and engage with us. Facebook www.facebook.com/TheWire/ www.facebook.com/TheWireHindi/ www.facebook.com/TheWireUrdu/ www.facebook.com/TheWireMarathi/ Twitter twitter.com/thewire_in twitter.com/thewirehindi twitter.com/TheWireUrdu twitter.com/TheWireMarathi twitter.com/livewire Instagram www.instagram.com/thewirein/ www.instagram.com/livewirein/ Don’t forget to hit the subscribe button to never miss a video from The Wire!


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