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India needs Rs 65,000 crore to treat poor: Raghuram Rajan to Rahul Gandhi on COVID-19 crisis

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New Delhi, Apr 30: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan interacted on Thursday, discussing many aspects of the coronavirus crisis that has plagued the world and has gripped the country.

Raghuram Rajan

During the interaction, Rahul Gandhi said that people's minds are full of questions around the ongoing coronavirus crisis and what is going to happen with the Indian economy.

The Congress leader also asked if there would be any strategic changes after the coronavirus pandemic that India could use to its advantage.

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Reacting to this, the former RBI Governor said that incidents like the novel coronavirus pandemic rarely have any positive results for any country. However, he also said that the crisis would enable a "rethinking of everything in the global economy".

"India can assume the leadership role in shaping that dialogue, to be a leader in that dialogue," Rajan said.

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"There will have to be a rethinking of everything in the global economy once we are out of this. If there is an opportunity for India, it is in shaping that dialogue and in being the leader in that dialogue. India is not one of the warring parties but a country big enough to have its voice heard in the global economy," Rajan told Gandhi.

The former RBI Governor also said that opting for a second or third lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus disease would be devastating for the country's economy.

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"Second or third lockdown will be devastating. It does diminish our credibility. We don't have to aim for 100 per cent success - it is not possible too - we have to manage the reopening," Dr Rajan stated.

He further said that India would need a budget of Rs 65,000 crore to help the poor.

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