Off The Cuff with Abhijit Banerjee

22 October, 2019 8:37 pm IST

The 2019 Nobel Prize for Economics winner Prof. Abhijit Banerjee was in conversation with ThePrint’s Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta and Business Standard Chairman T.N. Ninan at ‘Off The Cuff’ in New Delhi. Banerjee, who won the Nobel for his work in poverty alleviation, was critical of some of the decisions of the Narendra Modi government, including the recent corporate tax cuts and stringent inflation targeting that increased rural distress. Banerjee said his years at Jawaharlal Nehru University helped him understand India better and called himself a ‘liberal’. On a lighter note, Banerjee said he would cook what is in Bengali called a ‘widow’s cuisine’ for PM Modi – a vegetarian meal free of garlic and onion.

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Off The Cuff with Abhijit Banerjee

From left: Shekhar Gupta, editor-in-chief, ThePrint; T.N. Ninan, chairman, Business Standard Pvt. Ltd.; Abhijit Banerjee, winner, Nobel Prize for Economics, 2019, and professor of Economics, MIT

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Off The Cuff with Abhijit Banerjee

Vivek Shukla, GM, The Lalit, New Delhi; met the Nobel laureate.

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Off The Cuff with Abhijit Banerjee

Vijay Khurana, director, DeVats (India) Pvt. Ltd., wanted Banerjee to comment on the criticism that randomised controlled trials is not the solution to every problem.

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Off The Cuff with Abhijit Banerjee

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“Selling the PSUs is just replacing one form of wealth with another. It won’t be a long-term solution. Today I can sell it, but tomorrow I don’t have it,” said Banerjee. Full article

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Off The Cuff with Abhijit Banerjee

Yogendra Yadav, National President, Swaraj India, wanted the author and Nobel laureate to comment on differences with the orthodox Left, which is equally critical of Banerjee’s openness to using market instruments and moving away from the state mentality.

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Off The Cuff with Abhijit Banerjee


The Nobel winner engaged in a wide-ranging conversation about the state of the Indian economy. The discussion witnessed a packed house at The Lalit hotel in New Delhi.

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Off The Cuff with Abhijit Banerjee

Sanjiv Sen, senior advocate, Supreme Court of India, asked the economist that if offered, would Banerjee take out more time to solve the problems India is facing.

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Off The Cuff with Abhijit Banerjee

ThePrint’s Editor-in-chief Shekhar Gupta and Business Standard chairman T.N. Ninan moderated the discussion.

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Off The Cuff with Abhijit Banerjee

Ila Patnaik, economist & professor, National Institute of Public Finance & Policy, wanted the economist to assess India’s financial sector.

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Off The Cuff with Abhijit Banerjee

Anirudha Taparia, ED, IIFL Wealth & Asset Management, presents a token of appreciation to Banerjee.

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Off The Cuff with Abhijit Banerjee

The noted economist agreed to pose for a photograph with ThePrint team.

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Off The Cuff with Abhijit Banerjee

The Nobel laureate also met Akshay Taneja, MD, TDI Infratech.

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Off The Cuff with Abhijit Banerjee


Banerjee was flooded by autograph seekers after the event, where he promoted his book Good Economics for Hard Times, that was published earlier this month.

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