Arvind Panagariya.
Arvind Panagariya.

NEW YORK: Eminent economist Arvind Panagariya has said that India must now think long-term to create better paying formal sector jobs by seizing the opportunity presented by multinationals possibly moving out of China to diversify their operations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Panagariya, Professor of Economics at Columbia University and Director, Raj Center at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs, emphasised that the one thing the current crisis has revealed is the vulnerability of Indian workers to a shock that forces a near end of economic activity.

The pandemic is a "time for thinking long-term. It will be a pity to let the crisis go to waste. The current crisis will only last till a vaccine becomes available.

We must think beyond that," he said. "After 70 years of development effort, we have still left our workers predominantly employed on tiny farms (70 million of them averaging less than a quarter hectare in size) and in informal or self-employment in tiny enterprises that give them barely subsistence level of income on a daily basis."

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