‘I Don’t Have A Taste For Politics’: Ex-RBI Chief Raghuram Rajan

Raghuram Rajan said 7 percent GDP is not good enough. 

Published27 Apr 2019, 09:05 AM IST
2 min read

Former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan says joining politics will negatively affect his family life.

In an interview to Mint, the former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund spoke about Congress’ minimum income guarantee scheme and the BJP-led government’s successes.

On Joining Politics

“First, my wife has said she will not stay with me if I join politics… Politics everywhere is similar. It is not particularly noisy or whatever, I don’t have any taste for it. Somebody else can give the speeches and gain the votes,” he said.

On Being Appointed As A Minister

He also added that he has absolutely “no interest in politics” but he will be happy to help in “some useful way”. The 56-year-old also put an end to speculations of being appointed as a minister if the Congress party is elected to power.

“That’s too many steps, too far. Unfortunately, given the kind of work that I have done here, there is an expectation that my primary function is in the public arena. No, my primary job is academic. I like the job.”
Raguram Rajan on speculations of being appointed a minister. 

On The BJP Government

Raghuram said “ we have not moved the needle unlike what was anticipated” and that 7 percent GDP is nothing to “be sneezed at.”

“Then is it 7 percent with or without jobs? That is another issue. The underlying theme is that growth has some concerns. Have we changed the kind of economic framework for the world of tomorrow? I’d say no,” he said.

The ex-RBI chief also added that the successes of the government needs to be looked at carefully. “There is continuity in governance. NDA looks a lot like what UPA did— emphasised the same thing like GST, Direct Benefit Transfer, Aadhaar. If you tick off all the reforms that have been done, there is a continuity in that. The question again is, is that good news? It goes back to, can we afford the average?” he added.

Jobs Should Be Priority For Next Govt

Be it the BJP or Congress, the next government’s priority will be to contemplate on the future of the reforms, think about the structures to tackle economic challenges and that jobs, he said.

“Are we investing in areas of those researches are also not clear. Electric batteries for example. Are we able to take up the jobs that are leaving China? I’d argue, anecdotally, that investors prefer coming to Vietnam, or even some times Bangladesh, than here. So, jobs will be no 1 for any new government.”
Raghuram Rajan

(With inputs from Mint)

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