Abhijit Banerjee, winner of the 2019 Economics Nobel, will call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday morning. The meeting takes place in the middle of a huge debate spurred by the renowned economist’s critique of the government’s economic policies and sharp rejoinders from BJP leaders like Union Minister Piyush Goyal.
PM Modi had congratulated Dr. Banerjee after the Nobel announcement praising his work in poverty alleviation.
In an interview, Dr. Banerjee said he had worked in Gujarat when PM Modi was Chief Minister and had an “excellent experience”.
Dr. Banerjee told “I am not partisan in my economic thinking. We work with any number of state governments, many of which are BJP governments. We worked with the Gujarat Pollution (Control) Board when Gujarat was under (Narendra) Modi, and we actually had an excellent experience. I would say that they were willing to engage with the evidence and they implemented policies that followed with that experience”.
His comments were in response to Union Minister Piyush Goyal calling the Nobel laureate a “Left-leaning person. Abhijit Banerjee won the Nobel prize, I congratulate him. But you all know what his understanding is. His thinking is totally Left-leaning. He had praised the NYAY scheme effusively, but the people of India totally rejected his thinking”.
Dr. Banerjee had assisted the Congress in formulating the NYAY scheme, ahead of the national election this year. The scheme promised to give Rs. 72,000 a year to each of the 20 percent families in the poorest of the poor category.