New Delhi: Buoyed by encouraging GDP growth figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) which showed demonetisation did not cause the kind of damage predicted by his rivals and critics, India’s Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi on Wednesday defended his decision, and said that “hard work has won over Harvard-educated economists, who had predicted otherwise”.
“Well-known intellectuals from Harvard and Oxford (universities), who have held key positions in the Indian economic system for 40-50 years, said GDP would go down by 2% while others said it would go down by 4%,” Modi said at a rally in UP on Wednesday. Without taking names, Modi added, “On one hand, there is this son of a poor mother who believes in hard work and is trying to change the economy of the country through hard work, and on the other is this group of intellectuals which just talks about Harvard and does nothing. People have proved that hard work is more effective.”
The jibe appeared to be aimed at Nobel-winning economist Amartya Sen, who taught at Harvard, and former finance minister P Chidambaram, who graduated from Harvard Law School, and many other economists critical of who have said that demonetisation has crippled the economy. The government data released by CSO, however, suggested that the country may have been spared the visitation, with the economy not being hit significantly.