Rs 65,000 cr needed to help poor: Highlights of Rahul Gandhi's conversation with Raghuram Rajan

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi holds a conversation with Raghuram Rajan, former RBI governor, on the Covid-19 crisis in India. During the conversation Raghuram Rajan said the lockdown cannot go on forever, the government must plan an exit and manage it well.

The former RBI RBI Governor said that extending lockdown suggests that government wasn't successful in its first attempt. He also said that a second or third lockdown will be devastating for the Indian economy. "Our fiscal resources are restricted but, it is pivotal to reopen economic activities," said Rajan.

When asked how much will India need to help its poor population during COVID-19 crisis, Rajan said, "India will need a budget of Rs 65,000 crore to help the poor. India should do this."

During the conversation Rahul Gandhi asked Raghuram Rajan that will will there be a strategic benefit for India post-COVID-19? To which Rajan said, "There are ways countries can take advantage of the situation. There will be rethinking. In this situation India can find opportunities for Its industry."

Rajan also suggested that there should be prioritisation as our capacities are limited. "We need to decide how do we keep economy together so that when we re-open it's itself able to walk off the sick bed&not be impaired at that point. Most immediately, I think keep people well and alive," the former RBI Governor said.

He also said that but we have to treat this pandemic as a situation which is unprecedented. We have to break norms in order to tackle what is needed, while at the same time keeping in mind that there are only so many resources we have.

Raghuram Rajan also hinted that it is difficult to ensure 100 percent success in eliminating the novel coronavirus and register zero COVID-19 cases when we open up.

Rajan asked Rahul Gandhi about the effectiveness of the panchayati raj system in India, to which Rahul said "It was effective once. We are moving towards more centralisation of power and northern states are more bureaucratic or DM-based."

Rahul Gandhi also said that infrastructure of division and hatred causing great damage to the society in middle of such a crisis. " The level of inequality you see in India is nowhere to be seen. You cannot compare the measures taken in the US to that in India. Our societies are very different. Caste is such a factor. There can't be a blanket solution for the whole of India as we have a different society structure unlike the US," Rahul said.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is starting a new campaign by holding a series of discussion with experts to fight the corona pandemic and especially its impact on the economy. In the series, Rahul will talk to the experts hailing from different fields, of the country and abroad. Congress will telecast this conversation through its social media platforms.

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