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Raghuram Rajan, Anti-National
National Politics

“Would you call government anti-national?”: Raghuram Rajan on Infosys row

New Delhi : Former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor, Raghuram Rajan in an interview on NDTV openly questioned if the central government must be deemed as anti-national for its alleged poor performance initially on the Covid-19 vaccination front.

Taking a stand in the matter where weekly magazine Panchjanya (RSS affiliate) shot Infosys down for its inability to fix glitches existing on the Income Tax portal and wrote that Infosys was a part of an “anti-national conspiracy”. The article alleged that Infosys was deliberately not fixing glitches in the new income tax portal to perhaps “destabilise India’s economy”. He called it completely unproductive, “It just strikes me as completely unproductive. Would you accuse the government of being anti-national for not doing a good job on vaccines initially? You say it is a mistake. And people do make mistakes,” Dr. Rajan said, citing the creaky rollout of the goods and services tax (GST) as an example.

He further added, “I don’t think the GST rollout has been spectacular. It could have been done better…but learn from those mistakes and don’t use it as a club to roll out your own prejudices.”

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman ‘summoned’ Infosys CEO last month for the unresolved tech issues of their Income Tax portal. The magazine showed scepticism on the company’s intention saying that it is making the same errors again and again.

The former RBI governor told NDTV: “We need an inquiry into the vaccine rollout and why the GST was not rolled out properly. People make mistakes. But learn from those mistakes and don’t use them as a club to roll out your own prejudices.”

Rajan noted that the emerging divisiveness in India is problematic. “It is also creating a harsher business environment in the longer run,” he said.

The economist added that when the government operates without checks and balances, it affects businesses eventually.

Rajan said: “The lack of checks and balances implies that arbitrary decisions can be taken with respect to them [businesses] and they have very limited recourse because all the tools that would ordinarily check the government – a free press and an independent judiciary – are within the grasp of the government.”

 

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