“Muddled Thinking,” Says Amartya Sen On 10% Reservation Policy

Nobel laureate economist Amartya Sen Wednesday explained the proposed 10 percent reservation for economically backward people in the general category as a “muddled thinking” that raises a critical question about its political and economic impact.

He also claimed the Modi government sustained the “high economic growth” achieved during the UPA regime, but that did not translate into jobs, poverty elimination and better healthcare and education for all.

On the government’s move to give 10 percent reservation in jobs and educational institutions to economically weaker sections in the general category, Mr Sen said, “The reservation for the low-income upper caste is a different problem.”

“If the whole of the population is covered by reservation then that would be the removal of reservation,” he said PTI in an exclusive interview. “Ultimately this is muddled thinking. But the muddled thinking may have critical political and economic effects which are seriously questionable.”

The economist said the Modi government was successful in maintaining the economic growth India got before they came to power. “(Prime Minister Narendra) Modi can say ”yes we have continued that”. There has not been a big reduction in the economic growth of India,” he stated.

But the advantages of economic growth in terms of generation of employment, inequality reduction, poverty elimination, better healthcare and education for all cannot be seen on the ground through the economic growth has continued at a high rate, he said.

The economist was also critical of demonetization and the way the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was implemented.

“We don’t have to bring in the electoral success and failure in order to be able to say that demonetization was a pretty negative and pretty bad economic policy and the way the GST has been imposed was also very defective,” Mr Sen explained.

Questioned if these two led to the BJP’s defeat in the recently-held assembly elections in five states, he said that requires an electoral study which he had not done.

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