"Less Photo-Ops": Kapil Sibal Jabs PM Modi, Quotes Abhijit Banerjee

Abhijit Banerjee, who won the Nobel with Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer, said that the Indian economy is "doing very badly" even as the government is increasingly recognising that there is a problem.

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'Less Photo-Ops': Kapil Sibal Jabs PM Modi, Quotes Abhijit Banerjee

Kapil Sibal said PM Modi should "attend to work" and have less "photo ops".


New Delhi: 

Congress leader Kapil Sibal today quoted Abhijit Banerjee, Economics Nobel winner, to take a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the state of the county's economy. Mr Banerjee, who won the Nobel with Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer, said that the Indian economy is "doing very badly" even as the government is increasingly recognising that there is a problem.

"The economy is doing very badly in my view," the economist told a press conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology after wining the prize.

Mr Sibal attacked PM Modi, saying he should "attend to work" and have less "photo ops". "Is Modiji listening? Abhijit Banerjee: 1) Indian economy on shaky ground. 2) "political interference" in statistical data. 3) Average urban and rural consumption gone down - hasn't happened since the seventies. 4) We in (India) are in crisis. Attend to work. Less photo-ops," Sibal said in a tweet.

Abhijit Banerjee, 58, said that when the economy is going into a "tailspin", is the time when "you don't worry so much about monetary stability and you worry a little bit more about demand. I think demand is a huge problem right now in economy."

"There is enormous fight going on in India about which data is right and the government has a particular view of (that) all data that is inconvenient to it is wrong. But nonetheless, I think that this is something that I think even the government is increasingly recognising that there is a problem. So the economy slowing very very fast. How fast we don't know, there is this dispute about data but I think fast," Mr Banerjee said.

Last week, he had delivered a sharp critique of the Indian economy and rated the fall in consumption as "extremely serious". He also blamed centre's big-ticket economic decisions - demonetisation and implementation of Goods and Services Tax - for what he called a "demand problem".

"I talk to my business friends. And they say that it is impossible to invest, you don't know who is going to call you up and say that's not the right thing to do," the Indian-American economist said on October 9 at Watson Institute, Brown University.

PM Modi had congratulated Mr Banerjee on Monday evening for his contribution in the alleviation of global poverty. Congratulations to Abhijit Banerjee on being conferred the 2019 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. He has made notable contributions in the field of poverty alleviation," PM Modi tweeted.



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