Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Tuesday congratulated Indian-origin economist Abhijit Banerjee, who won the Nobel Prize. Gandhi said she hoped that her party’s minimum income guarantee scheme called NYAY (Nyuntam Aay Yojana), which Banerjee helped conceptualise would become a reality in the future.

“Congratulations to Indian-origin Professor Abhijit Banerjee, who researches on poverty alleviation, for winning the Nobel Prize for Economics,” she tweeted. “Professor Banerjee had also advised on the Congress manifesto’s revolutionary NYAY scheme. Hope that the scheme will one day become a reality.”

Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer won the 2019 Nobel Prize in economics “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.” Duflo is only the second woman to receive the prestigious prize.

Banerjee was among a group of economists and social scientists who in March urged the Narendra Modi-led central government to restore the integrity of statistical organisations, saying their national and global reputation was “at stake”.

Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi on Monday congratulated Banerjee and described the win as a “spectacular achievement”. “Apart from making the nation of his origin proud by this spectacular achievement, Prof Banerjee’s and his fellow recipients’ work in ‘experimental approach to alleviating global poverty’ had helped millions across the globe, including India, come out of poverty,” the statement read. “Their methodology, approach and experiments were exemplary and of extreme contemporary relevance. His recognition as a Nobel laureate has delighted every Indian.”

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is also an economist, lauded Banerjee’s achievement and said his work on alleviating poverty and development of newer techniques towards achieving it were path-breaking, PTI reported.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulated Banerjee, saying that he had made “notable contributions in the field of poverty alleviation”. He also congratulated Duflo and Kremer.

However, former Union Minister and BJP leader Anantkumar Hegde criticised the decision to give the prize to Banerjee, citing his role in developing Rahul Gandhi’s economic agenda.

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‘NYAY or not, we are not taxing the economy enough,’ says economist Abhijit Banerjee

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