Esther Duflo said India was already in a position to start universal basic income quickly as it had the Jan Dhan accounts-Aadhaar-mobile system in place.
Nobel Laureates Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo have said that India should immediately begin cash transfers of Rs 1,000 per person every month as universal basic income (UBI) to bypass the economic crisis caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The duo also said that India should implement the ‘one-nation, one ration card’ scheme urgently.
During an interaction with the virtual version of the Jaipur Literature Fest on May 24, As per Banerjee, India can help in the mass production of the COVID-19 vaccine, whenever it is developed. However, he cautioned that, in the absence of a vaccine, India is likely to see another lockdown as cases are still rising.
“Rs 1,000 per person per month would make a huge difference, that's probably too much. Even Rs 500, so for a family of five Rs 2,500, I think that makes a big difference. It would pay for all the emergency things,” The Economic Times quoted Banerjee as saying.
“India is going to face a massive demand shock so pumping money in the hands of people might actually be the way to save the economy,” Banerjee added.
Duflo expressed that India was already in a position to start UBI quickly as it had the Jan Dhan accounts-Aadhaar-mobile system in place.
Banerjee also appreciated the Centre’s efforts of providing ‘one nation, one ration card’. However, he added that the scheme must be implemented urgently.
Earlier, in conversation with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan said that India needed Rs 65,000 crore to help the poor during the lockdown. Considering India’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP), it can afford to do that, Rajan said.Click here for Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the novel coronavirus pandemic