Why are not the world-class economists not listened to?The entire world has sat up and taken notice of the worst-ever humanitarian crisis in India, after Independence. Granting that the virus is a real pandemic, it is the duty of the Central and State Governments to at least provide the basic minimum right to live. Since the migrants are not able to find jobs in the places they were normally employed in, they naturally wanted to go back to their native places. This was not at all managed properly. The Karnataka State Chief Minister was absolutely arrogant when he cancelled the scheduled trains to the North Indian destinations since he wanted to please the real estate lobby. No one would have bothered if the migrants had been taken care of well and provided decent food and at least makeshift accommodation.
It never stopped here. The world-class economists like Dr.Abhijit Bannerjee, the Nobel prize winner, Dr Raghuram Rajan and Dr Jayathi Ghosh from the JNU, have repeatedly said that the only way to manage this humanitarian crisis is to give the migrants temporary ration cards and give them the rations and also give them direct cash transfers, with the help of their Aadhar cards, for a few months. The Government of India has refused to listen to this sane advice. Instead, a so-called 20 lakh crore package has been announced, and the direct benefits to the poor is hardly one per cent of the GDP.
The Government of India should listen to the world's best economists.