Amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak, Former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan has suggested to the government to call people with proven expertise and capabilities, including from opposition parties, to deal with 'perhaps the greatest emergency being faced by the country since Independence', following the coronavirus outbreak.
In his blog titled 'India's Greatest Challenge in Recent Times,' he cautioned that driving everything from the Prime Minister's Office, with the same overworked people, may not be of much help.
"There is much to do. The government should call on people with proven expertise and capabilities, of whom there are so many in India, to help it manage its response. It may even want to reach across the political aisle to draw in members of the opposition who have had experience in previous times of great stress like the global financial crisis. If, however, the government insists on driving everything from the Prime Minister's Office, with the same overworked people, it will do too little, too late."
He said economically, India is probably facing its greatest emergency since Independence. However, he asserted that with the right resolve and priorities, and drawing on India's many sources of strength, it can beat this virus back, and even set the stage for a much more hopeful tomorrow. He also expressed concerns about India's fiscal deficit.
Pointing out at the youth, he said that healthy youngsters, lodged with appropriate distancing in hostels near the workplace, maybe the ideal workers for restarting work post lockdown. Noting that in the meantime, India obviously needs to ensure that the poor and non-salaried lower-middle class, who are prevented from working for longer periods, can survive, he said, "Direct transfers to households may reach most but not all, as a number of commentators have pointed out, and the quantum of transfers seems inadequate to see a household through a month."