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Thomas Piketty explains why he is helping Rahul Gandhi with minimum income guarantee

French economist defends Congress' minimum income guarantee scheme, says India's poor have been 'badly treated by the country's elite'.

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New Delhi: French economist Thomas Piketty has defended the Congress party’s poll promise of minimum income guarantee (MIG), saying that India’s poor have been “badly treated by the country’s elite”.

“It is high time to move from the politics of caste conflict to the politics of income and wealth distribution,” Piketty said in an email response to ThePrint, confirming that he was helping the Congress frame the proposed MIG scheme.

ThePrint had reported on 31 January, quoting top Congress leaders as saying that Piketty and Angus Deaton, the British economist who won the Nobel Prize in 2015, were advising the Congress on its poll promise. Deaton, however, denied it to ThePrint, saying that no one from the Congress had contacted him.

Also read: No way Congress’ minimum income guarantee will work without raising taxes

Helping the Congress: Piketty

Piketty, a professor at the Paris School of Economics, told ThePrint that he, along with Professor Abhijit Banerjee, Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and director of Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, M.I.T, was advising the principal opposition party in India on the proposed MIG scheme.

“Yes, we’ve been exchanging with the Congress together with Abhijit Banerjee (MIT) about how much it would cost and how to implement this,” Piketty said. “My view is that a minimum income scheme would be highly welcome.”

Piketty is the author of the much-acclaimed book Capital in the Twenty-First Century, which dealt with how inequality grew since the industrial revolution and wealth got concentrated in a few rich families. The Economist called the French economist “the modern Marx”.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi had earlier declared that if voted to power, his party would implement the minimum income guarantee to the poor.

Also read: Rahul Gandhi’s minimum income for poor faces 3 challenges – cost, targeting & delivery

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  1. France is now known as the sick man of Europe! The French Have lost the race to Germany and other Western European countries. The French have low productivity, smaller working hours, and high wages. Plus heavily unionized and unwilling to change and adapt to the new world. Very similar to West Bengal!!! So taking advise from a socialist economist is like a mental patient going to a lunatic for advise!

  2. Mr Piketty talked to a minister in the ruling party and wanted India to rise upper cap of income tax to upto 60-65%; I think he is nuts, a developing country should not try to be a socialist country, of course we should take care of very poor, but that should be it. The delusions of rich are not for us, not yet, this is the time of full growth, let us invest money in making more money, investing in infrastructure and institution is the need of the hour, not doling out free money

  3. at least one positive – world class thinkers like piketty instead of fixers and desi bureaucrats doing demonitization.

    • This is the problem with our country. You won’t believe Indians being an Indian. No wonder you people will vote for Rahul Gandhi and sell this country.

  4. This is an irony. RG is the elite that Thomas is rallying against. His dynasty bankrupted this country, and now we are going to give the money to the thief to be distributed!

  5. These extreme socialists have been rejected by their own countries as crackpots. Congress has made a habit of importing them and adopting their ill conceived ideas for poverty distribution in India.

  6. Dr.Manmohan singh made economic Reforms by IMF and for IMF are main problem making facts at INDIA since 1995•
    Sri.Chandrasekhar and dr.Manmohan singh are pledged tons of GOLD to Bank of Enland lot times•• Dr.M.M.Singh is privatised our Oil+ Bank+ insurance sectors and ban all subsidies from Agricuture sector and Fishing sector• These are main problems at india•
    Subsidy ban is destroyed Agriculture and Fishing sector totally• IMF made Health care budget cut policy is destroyed Government hospitals and health care with privatisation•
    Dr.M.M.Singh trained Servants are misguiding the Modi government with IMF globalisation and privatisation• French pupils are protests against GREEDY PRIVATISATION and IMF at last 2 months, Unfortunately 3G (Rahul+priyanka+sonia) would like to reassemble with IMF with strong••scrap the IMF made policies•
    save the INDIA••

  7. This must be the kiss of death that RG could do without. These economists like Amarthya Sen have ruined the country’s economy earler and now Pickety wants to contribute another leftist little bit!

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