Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee on Tuesday alleged that the Centre has "slightly different" approach in dealing COVID-19 battle as it wants to keep "everything under control" and suggested that there should be a balance between Central and state governments.
"A centralised approach is required to deal with the current situation but there should be a balance between Centre and states. Give states options and let them decide what to do and what not to do. If the responsibility falls on the states, they will deal with it better. States should be given the freedom to decide if they want lockdown," said Banerjee in interaction with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
Emphasising on decentralisation, he asserted that he could see a difference between states and Centre. "There is a balance between centralisation and decentralisation aspects. Each state has its own nuances. The Central government also has a particular role to play. But there is a tension I can see between these two ideas," he added.
"We should give money to state governments to try out their own schemes, reach people who are excluded using NGOs. Some money will be stolen. But if we say that we do not want to do anything that could go possibly wrong, then we will make sure it goes wrong. The approach of the present government is slightly different and it likes to keep everything under control, he said.
On being asked by Gandhi on what could be added to the government's package list for COVID-19, he said, "We can't really get cash to people. People who have Jan Dhan accounts can get money but many people don't, especially migrants may not have access. A lot of these people get their jobs from small and medium businesses, who are going to have a cash flow problem. And a lot of those businesses are going to go bankrupt because of the shock".
( With inputs from ANI )