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Land acquisition, bank cleanup and policies to revive agriculture: Rajan's top priorities if he were a finance minister

Updated : March 26, 2019 01:00 PM IST

When Raghuram Rajan talks, everyone listens. The former RBI governor has been one of the renowned economists in India as well as internationally. Rajan, who also served as the Chief Economist and Director of Research at the International Monetary Fund, was named in Time Magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential People in the World’ in 2016.

Rajan has repeatedly warned us of the growing risks in the financial system, global trade, proposed policies among others. Besides, he has never shied away from talking about non-economic subjects like social issues, inequalities and even politics.

In his latest book, Third Pillar: How Markets And The State Leave The Community Behind, he seeks to explain the cause of rising nationalist populism.

CNBC-TV18’s Latha Venkatesh caught up with Rajan to discuss his new book and the arguments and recommendations outlined in the book. In the exclusive interview, Venkatesh asked Rajan to mention his top three policies if he was to be the finance minister or a policymaker.

In reply, he said his top priorities would be solving issues of land acquisition, focusing on bank cleanup and coming up with policies to revive agriculture.

"Certainly I would focus on short-term actions that could put a lot of projects back on track that are still stuck, clean up the banks as quickly as possible and set them back on credit growth, some of which is happening and try and find two or three key reforms which could unleash growth," said Rajan.

"Certainly one of them (the reforms) has to be how we revive agriculture in a way that reduces distress. Second would be an issue of land acquisition; can we learn from the best practices of the states and find methods that seem fair and in a sense also give states the freedom to pick the method that works best for them so that we learn from each other’s experiments. Land acquisition, bank cleanup as well as trying to find some key policies that would revive agriculture - these would be top priorities," he added.
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