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2-min read

Lack of Tolerance to Criticism Can Lead to Mistakes in Policymaking, Says Former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan

The ex-RBI governor also said dwelling on historical achievements and opposing foreign ideas or foreigners reflects great insecurity and may hamper economic development.

News18.com

Updated:September 30, 2019, 12:39 PM IST
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Lack of Tolerance to Criticism Can Lead to Mistakes in Policymaking, Says Former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan
File photo of former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan. (Reuters)

New Delhi: Former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan has said a lack of tolerance towards the public as well as internal criticism can lead to mistakes in policymaking and governments do themselves a disservice by doing so.

Rajan said: “If every critic gets a phone call from a government functionary asking them to back off, or gets targeted by the ruling party’s troll army, many will tone down their criticism. The government will then live in a pleasant make-believe environment, until the harsh truth can no longer be denied.”

The ex-RBI governor also said dwelling on historical achievements and opposing foreign ideas or foreigners reflects great insecurity and may hamper economic development.

The reconstitution of the prime minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) had recently drawn criticism for dropping two members who voiced their concerns on the government’s policies.

In an essay released on his blog, Rajan said public criticism gives government bureaucrats the room to speak truth to their political masters. “After all, they are not screaming the loudest in the room,” he added.

“Understanding our history is, obviously, a good thing, but using history to thump our own chest reflects great insecurity and can even be counterproductive. It does nothing for enhancing our current capabilities,” Rajan said. He added that such achievements should not divert people from efforts to improve current systems.

Earlier, Rajan had called the slowdown in the economy "very worrisome" and said the government needs to fix the immediate problems in power and non-bank financial sectors and come out with a new set of reforms to energise private sector to invest.

He had said he couldn’t predict another big financial crash but if it comes, it will be from different sources.

"The big issue today is not so much the financial sector frenzy, there is some but real (issue) is trade and global investments and the worries are that if we don't pay enough attention, the old global order is going out of the window and there is nothing really to replace it to keep countries from doing things that serve their own interest rather than the global interest. So, it is a different world," he said.

Asked about 2008 meltdown repeating, he said: "Do I predict a big crash coming? I don't know but I do think that it is going to come from different sources and simply fixing the old problems is not going to prevent the new ones".

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