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When good economists turn politicians, they lose their economic sense: Vaishnaw takes on Raghuram Rajan PLI Scheme

When good economists turn politicians, they lose their economic sense: Vaishnaw takes on Raghuram Rajan

BD Naraayannkar/UNI | @indiablooms | 19 Aug 2023, 10:52 pm

Bengaluru: Union Electronics and IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Saturday slammed former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, who has been criticising the Modi government’s Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme and assertions that it helped India become a mobile phone exporter.

“When good economists become politicians, they lose their economic sense,” Vaishnaw said, adding that the celebrated economist has become a politician and shadow-boxing on behalf of “somebody”.

"See, good economists, when they become politicians, then they lose their economic sense. Mr Raghuram Rajan has become a politician. And now he should come out in the open and fight elections, conduct elections, and participate in political activity. Doing shadowboxing is not something that is good. He is trying to do shadow-boxing on behalf of somebody," he said, replying to a UNI query at a press conference.

The press conference was held after the G20 Ministers of Digital Economy Meeting held here.

Further attacking Rajan's comments, Vaishnaw said all the countries in the world follow the Vietnamese model of assemblage and manufacturing of mobile phones.

"Every country that has started electronic manufacturing, they have followed a path. That path is - you start with the first step which is to bring the Completely Knocked Down (CKD) and Semi Knocked Down (SKD) kits, and assemble them in any country. That is Vietnam's example. They started it. Then comes the production of different components. Then comes the production of systems. That has happened in every country. That is my first point," he said.

In an interview, Raghuram Rajan had said that the Central government's claim that India has become a mobile phone exporter after the introduction of the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme is flawed.

The former RBI Governor had stated that India is not a major manufacturer of mobile phones, but a major assembler of manufacturing phone parts which are exported to another country where the actual phone is put together.

Vaishnaw further said despite the complexities involving the global supply chain, India will be reaching more than 30 percent value addition in not more than two years.

"The global supply chain is today so complex that there is no country which can claim that they have value addition of more than 40 percent. Forty percent is the highest value addition any country can claim for their electronics manufacturing. We will be reaching 30 percent plus value addition in the coming, maybe not more than 2 years. That is the progress we are making," he said.

Vaishnaw said there will be at least three major components of mobile phones that will not only be made for Indian consumption but also for global supply out of India.

"So, this kind of shadow-boxing that Mr Raghuram Rajan is doing is not a fair thing. He is a very well-accomplished economist. I request him to stay as an economist or turn into a politician," he said.

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