Rajiv Bajaj talks to Rahul Gandhi: Indian lockdown worst of both worlds: Govt flattened wrong curve

Rajiv Bajaj said that the government must work immediately to get the demand going again.

Industrialist Rajiv Bajaj is the latest to join the chorus of the commentators, economists and businesspersons, who are of the opinion that India’s over two-month coronavirus lockdown was not the best thing to do. India got the worst of both worlds as far as the lockdown is concerned with the economic situation worsening than before, Bajaj Auto MD Rajiv Bajaj said during a conversation with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. “The virus is waiting to hit you, so you have not solved that problem, but you have decimated the economy. You have flattened the wrong curve – not the infection curve but the GDP curve. This is what we have ended with — the worst of both worlds,” Rajiv Bajaj said in the conversation aired today.

Rajiv Bajaj said that the government must work immediately to get the demand going again. He also said that work must be done to lift the mood and a strong initiative needs to be taken to provide stimulus to demand. Further, more money should be handed directly to the people who need it most. To this, Rahul Gandhi added that the government must extend support to whoever needs it and should be supported just like other countries did with their citizens. “You cannot support big businesses without supporting small businesses,” Rahul Gandhi said.

Magic formula for Indian companies

Sharing an anecdote for why Honda is a much more successful company in Brazil despite having many rivals, Rajiv Bajaj said that what the company got right is a magic formula which can be deployed by every company to make the world their oyster. “European design, Japanese quality and Indian pricing” is the key, he said.

Rahul Gandhi has been having a series of conversations with experts from various fields on the coronavirus pandemic and how to cushion the blow of economic fallout resulting from lockdown. Before Rajiv Bajaj, the Congress leader has also interviewed former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan, and Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee. The common thread that has emerged so far is that the government needs to provide more money in hands of people to help them tide over the crisis and that it must focus on India’s most vulnerable sections such as migrant workers.

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