Banerjee, currently a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), said he does not think that India's economic stimulus was adequate.
Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee on September 29 said India is among the worst performing economies in the world and the government's economic stimulus was inadequate to tackle the problem. He, however, said that the country will see a revival in growth in the July-September quarter of the current fiscal.
Speaking at a virtual event, Banerjee said the country's economic growth was slowing down even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. "Indian economy is among the worst performing in the world. The country's economy will see revival in the current quarter (July-September)," he said, adding that economic growth in 2021 is going to be better than this year.
Banerjee, currently a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), said he does not think that India's economic stimulus was adequate. "India's economic stimulus was limited. It was a bank bailout. I think we could have done more," he said.
The stimulus measures "did not increase consumption spending of lower income people as thegovernment was not willing to put money in the hands of the low income population," he noted. Talking about inflation, Banerjee said India's growth strategy was closed economy with the government creating lots of demand, which resulted in high growth and inflation.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
"India had 20 years of high inflation and high growth. Thecountry benefited a lot from stable high inflation in the last 20 years," he opined. The eminent economist noted that India needs to be globally more competitive.Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.