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Not a Politician, Says Raghuram Rajan Amid Rumours of Mahagathbandhan Courting Ex-RBI Chief

Denying rumours that he is being courted by the anti-BJP mahagathbandhan (grand alliance), Rajan said, 'It is all speculation. What a number of us have been trying to do is put ideas into the system'.

Shereen Bhan | CNBC TV18

Updated:January 23, 2019, 10:06 AM IST
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Davos (Switzerland): Ever since Raghuram Rajan left Mint Street, he has not shied away from critiquing the government on economy and policies, sparking speculation that he might eventually take the political plunge. Dismissing the buzz, the former RBI governor told News18 that his interest lies solely in technocracy and academia.

In the Swiss ski resort town of Davos for the World Economic Forum, Rajan, however, said he holds conversations with politicians for an exchange of ideas. “I have spoken to (Congress chief) Rahul Gandhi. (Andhra Pradesh CM) Chandrababu Naidu and I were supposed to be on a panel here. I talk to whoever wants to talk to me. I spoke to (Finance Minister) Mr Arun Jaitley two-three weeks ago,” the economist, who had predicted the 2008 global economic meltdown, said.

Denying rumours that he is being courted by the anti-BJP mahagathbandhan (grand alliance), Rajan said, “It is all speculation. What a number of us have been trying to do is put ideas into the system. Some of them are well-worn ideas, but, we really need to think about how we can take our country forward. We are reaching a point where the old pace of growth is not enough. We need reinvigoration of growth. And what are the reforms that we need to do, the second or third set of reforms, to put this country on the growth path… that's something we need to think about very carefully.”

Asked if he would consider joining politics in future, Rajan said, “I'm not a politician. I have said that many times. One of the important things in life is to know what your competitive advantage is. I'm a technocrat. I'm an academic. Those are the two areas which I know about.”

Refusing to answer whether he’ll consider taking up a position in India if offered, Rajan reiterated that the focus has to be on reforms.

“I have always said there is no magic bullet. We have to do a whole bunch of things. How do we improve the land acquisition process? How do we have a taxation system that generates adequate revenue? We have some new schemes. How do we work them out to make sure that the revenue collection is appropriate? Those are all the things we need to think about,” he said.

Rajan, who was RBI governor for three years till September 2016, is currently teaching at the Chicago Booth School of Business.

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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