Experts see the influence of Nobel laureate economist Abhijit Binayak Banerjee behind the decision to transfer money to the bank accounts of the devastated Amphan family in West Bengal.
On Friday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced the deposit of Rs 20,000 per family in the bank accounts of 5 lakh Amphan affected families in the state. Besides, the Chief Minister promised to pay Rs 26,000 to each family for the arrears of the MGNREGA project.
State Parliamentary Affairs Minister and top Trinamool leader Tapas Roy said, “Nobel laureate economist Abhijit Binayak Banerjee has been saying this for some time. He even gave similar advice to the central government in this regard. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has followed his advice and put it into practice. The Center and other states will have to follow this advice, because that is the only way.
Indian-American economist Abhijit Binayak Banerjee was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2019. He was joined by his wife, Esther Dufflow, and Michael Kramer. Abhijit’s advice to the Narendra Modi government at the Center was to give cash to the poor, who make up 80 per cent of the total population, to boost the country’s economy. In a discussion with former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, he said, “The easiest way to revive the economy is to increase spending. This boosts the economy.
Mamata has already appointed Abhijit Binayak as the head of the state government’s international advisory committee on coronary heart disease. The committee includes former WHO Regional Director Swarup Sarkar, former US CDC Tom Frieden, World Bank economist Yishnu Das and former Central Health Secretary of Binamang JVR Prasad Rao.
Mausumi Dutt, head of the economics department at Presidency University in Kolkata, said, “This initiative by the West Bengal government is very good. Those who have suffered the most in the disaster need to get the money. Several economists, including Nobel laureate Abhijit Binayak Banerjee, have come up with this suggestion. Abhijit himself is the head of the advisory committee of the state government, so his advice can be accepted by the state government.
However, the state’s opposition group has strongly criticized the Mamata Banerjee government’s decision. Rahul Sinha, national secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party, questioned, “Even before this, Mamata Banerjee’s government has promised to settle the arrears of DA of government employees in the state.” In the end it was not given. After the failure of her government in all cases, Mamata Banerjee is now hoping to win the hearts and minds of the people with money. If this guy dies, what will he do with the money? ‘
Apart from handing over cash, Abhijit Binayak Bandyopadhyay has also suggested granting temporary ration cards to the needy for 3-6 months to procure food items to deal with the disaster.