Even as several BJP leaders across India have criticised Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee for his 'left leaning' economics, Goa's Environment Minister Nilesh Cabral on Tuesday justified the BJP-led coalition government's spending on populist welfare schemes by quoting the much lauded Indian-origin economist's work on poverty alleviation.
Cabral, while addressing a press conference on Tuesday at the state Secretariat, said, that he would gift state Congress president Girish Chodankar a copy of Banerjee's book, so that the Opposition party leader understands the merits of expenditure on 'social capital'.
A day earlier, Chodankar had accused the BJP-led coalition government of incessant borrowing of loans to feed social welfare schemes.
"I am going to present him a book written by our Indian Nobel laureate, where he (Banerjee) has said, that expenditure on social schemes should be called expenditure on social capital. The schemes which are being given to people, is for people to spend in the market, which also gives a boost to the economy," Cabral said.
The Minister, however, needed to seek assistance from his aides, when it came to recalling the Nobel laureate's name.
Cabral also said, that former Chief Minister late Manohar Parrikar had focussed on expenditure on social schemes, when mining in Goa was banned by the Supreme Court in 2012.
Parrikar's focussed spending on 'social capital' instead of capital expenditure projects and launching of financial schemes for those sections of society which were linked to mining trade, Cabral said, this possibly stopped a spate of suicides in Goa's hinterland, where the mining sector is a major employer and major source of revenue generation.
"When Manohar Parrikar was CM and mining was shut down, he started so many social schemes. This is not capital expenditure. He was providing social security. It was because of those schemes, we did not have problems of suicides in the mining sector. See what is happening to farmers in neighbouring states. There was no support the way it was given (in Goa)," Cabral said.
"Nobel prize winner Abhijiet Banerjee has said that social security schemes can be called social capital. It is a new definition," Cabral also said, adding that Goa government's total outlay on social welfare schemes was about Rs 1000 crore.
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