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India needs Rs 65 billion to help poor people during Covid-19 crisis, says Raghuram Rajan: key points

NEW DELHI: Former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Raghuram Rajan, in a video conversation with Congressman Rahul Gandhi, said that India needs Rs 65 billion to help the poor during the crisis led by the coronavirus. He added that the government’s focus should be first to start people’s lives once it decides to end the national blockade.

Here are the key points of the conversation:

* India needs Rs 65,000 crore to feed the poor during the pandemic. India’s GDP is Rs 200 lakh crore, so we can pay Rs 65,000 to save the lives of India’s poor: Rajan

* This pandemic is unprecedented. We have to break the rules to cope with what is needed, while taking into account that we only have so many resources: Rajan a Rahul Gandhi

* There must be a prioritization since our capabilities are limited. We need to decide how we keep the economy together so that when we reopen we are able to get out of bed sick and not be affected at the time. More immediately, I think keeping people well and alive: Rajan

* A second or third lockdown will be devastating for the economy: former RBI governor

* Financial and fiscal resources are less than the West, we have to think about how to reopen the economy in a better way: Rajan

* India must perform 2 million tests a day if it is to obtain the level of confidence it has in the United States. And clearly, we are not close to that. I think we are somewhere around 25,000 or 30,000 tests a day right now: Raghuram Rajan

* We don’t have to target 100% success or zero cases when we open; social distancing will be key: Rajan

* We have to manage the reopening so that when there are cases, we can isolate them: Rajan

* We need to create good quality jobs so that people do not depend on government jobs and the comfort that comes with it: Rajan

* Social harmony is a public good; We cannot afford to divide our houses at a time when the challenges are great: from Rajan to Rahul Gandhi

* India can find opportunities for its industry and supply chain in the world. Can Help Make Your Voice Heard Globally: Former RBI Governor

* India can help shape post-pandemic dialogue to make room for a multi-polar global order: Rajan

* We will have to rethink everything in the global economy once we get out of this pandemic: Rajan

In the coming days, the Congressional leader is expected to hold a series of conversations with global and Indian thought leaders about the Covid-19 crisis and the way forward.

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