Niti Aayog VC hits backs at former CEA for criticizing Aatmanirbhar Bharat

NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar on Wednesday criticised former chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian for a recent article that pointed out flaws in the Narendra Modi government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative.

Subramanian, in an opinion piece co-authored with Pennsylvania State University’s assistant professor of economics Shoumitro Chatterjee, pointed out the pitfalls of looking too inward and ignoring the potential of India’s export story.

Kumar, the de facto boss of the government think-tank, in two tweets, responded sharply. Though he didn’t denied the fact of import tariffs hurting the potential economic turnaround.

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“Is the inward turn strong? Is the underlying diagnosis-cum-prognosis correct? Will it work? Based on new research, our simple answers are, respectively: Yes; no; and not really,” said Subramanian and Chatterjee in an article.

In particular, both economists pointed a finger at New Delhi’s decision to increase tariffs and tilt the level-playing field decisively in favour of domestic manufacturing in some sectors: “Leaving aside the spate of China-related restrictions, tariffs have been increased substantially, trade agreements have been put on hold, and a spate of production subsidies are being offered.

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