Tribune News Service
New Delhi, April 30
Former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan today said India should open up its economy in a measured way soon to enable people to have jobs and underlined that Rs 65,000 crore should be spent to support the poor during the Covid crisis.
In a video conversation with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Rajan said it was all too easy to have a lockdown forever but obviously that was unsustainable for the economy. “We need to open up in a measured way but as fast as possible so that people start having jobs. We do not have the capacity to support people across the spectrum for too long,” Rajan said.
On a question from Gandhi about which part of the economy could be opened up, Rajan said, “While trying to bend the curve of infections, we have to start thinking about restarting people’s livelihoods. First, open places where you can maintain distancing, not just at the work places but also distancing to and from the workplace. A lot of work needs to be done both on creating structures, as well as ensuring that the work place is relatively safe.”
On opening the lockdown given the country’s limited Covid testing capacity, Rajan said: “We have to be cleverer about opening up. Perhaps do mass testing. Take a mass sample, say 1,000 samples and check if there is any sign of the virus in those mass samples, go deeper.”
Rajan answered in the affirmative when Gandhi asked if there was a crisis of centralisation building up.
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