Self-Reliance Does Not Mean Exclusionist Policies

THE WEEK|June 07, 2020

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Self-Reliance Does Not Mean Exclusionist Policies
Prakash Javadekar, Union minister
Pratul Sharma

As the two-month lockdown was eased, the Union government came out with an economic stimulus package of 20 lakh crore and initiated many reforms.

In an exclusive interview, Union Minister (of environment, forest and climate change; information and broadcasting; and heavy industries and public enterprises) Prakash Javadekar articulates the government’s position on the economic stimulus package, reforms, migration crisis, and governance. Edited excerpts:

Q/Many people say the stimulus package may not help revive demand.

A/There are two views—whether you need to address the supply side or the demand. It will create inflation if there is no proper supply. People were saying that we should give 7,500 to everyone. Eighty crore people were given 25kg of rice or wheat, 5kg of pulses; additionally, 10 crore people (migrants and people without ration cards) were given 10kg rice and 2kg of pulses free of cost. Twenty crore women got 1,500 each [30,000 crore total] in their Jan Dhan accounts. Eight crore families have got three gas cylinders each, free [of cost]. Three crore senior citizens got 1,000 each in their account. Eight crore farmers got 2,000 in their accounts. So, basically, the bottom 10 per cent have got more than 7,500.

Q/Will the prime minister’s mantra of self-reliance lead to protectionism? Make in India has had only limited success.


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June 07, 2020