New Delhi: To revive the economy post COVID-19 lockdown, India needs a bigger stimulus package (on the lines of US, Japan and Europe) and money should be put in the hands of people, said Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee said in a video interaction with Rahul Gandhi. Also Read - World Milk Day 2020: Theme, Importance, Why And How to Celebrate Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

While deliberating on the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic with Gandhi, as part of a series of dialogues broadcast on Congress’ social media handles, Banerjee opined that government should hand out temporary ration cards to people to deal with the problem of food distribution. Also Read - Shibasish Sarkar, Producer of Sooryavanshi And CEO of Reliance Entertainment Group Gets COVID-19, Admitted to Kokilaben Hospital

“Temporary ration cards should be given to everybody for the next six months that would kind of save a lot of misery. Because then a lot of people would be able to go to the local ration shop”, said the Nobel laureate. Also Read - Alive or Dead? Family of Deceased COVID-19 Patient Cremates Body, Ahmedabad Hospital Tells His Health is Improving

Another concern looking ahead post-COVID-19 is a chain of bankruptcies and demand shortfall, he stated further.

“There are 2 concerns, one is how to avoid chain of bankruptcies, may be writing off lot of debts…Second is demand shortfall and getting some cash into hands of people is the best way to kick start the economy”, the Nobel Laureate  professor noted in interaction with Gandhi.

When Gandhi asked if some form of the Congress-proposed NYAY scheme or direct cash transfer to people was the need of the hour, Banerjee said it should not be limited just to the poorest.

“I would say bottom 60% of the population, we give them some money, nothing bad will happen in my view. If we gave them money, well some of them might not need it. Fine they’ll spend it. If they spend it, it would have a stimulus effect,” he said.