NEW DELHI: Former Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan in a video talk with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, streamed by the party, said that country needs Rs 65,000 crore to feed the poor.
Raghuram Rajan said, "Rs 65,000 crore is needed to feed the poor and India can afford it as the GDP is Rs 200 lakh crore," adding that "Social harmony is a public good; we cannot afford to have our houses divided at the time when challenges are big".
He said that there should be efforts to give money to the poor through DBT, MGNREGA, old age pension and also supporting through PDS.
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Raghuram Rajan said that India needs to be smarter in lifting the lockdown as it has limited capacity to feed the poor.
"There are ways country can take advantage but I think there will be no positive impact of this situation as there may be rethinking in global economy."
"There will be strategic change but these types of pandemic have rarely any positive effects in general," said Rajan.
When Rahul Gandhi asked the former RBI Governor about the testing capacity for coronavirus, Rajan said India needs at least 5 lakh testing per day.
The Congress leader also exchanged views about the authoritarian way the situation in the country is being handled, as more centralisation is happening contrary to liberalisation and decentralisation.
While Rahul Gandhi asserted that southern states are doing better in strengthening the panchayati raj system, northern states are more for centralisation of power.