Pune: Union minister Piyush Goyal on Friday dubbed Nobel laureate economist Abhijit Banerjee as "Left-leaning", and said as his suggestion of basic income scheme was rejected by Indian voters, there was no need to "accept what he thinks".
Indian-American Banerjee, who has been critical of the Narendra Modi government's economic policies, won the 2019 Nobel Prize for economics.
He had endorsed Nyay, the minimum basic income scheme promised by the Congress during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
"I congratulate Abhijit Banerjee for winning the Nobel prize. You all know that his thinking is totally Left-leaning," Goyal said at a media briefing here.
"Banerjee supported 'Nyay' and people of India rejected his ideology," Goyal said.
He added that it was a matter of pride that an Indian won the Nobel prize.
"But it is not necessary to agree with what he says and especially when the people of this country rejected his suggestion, there is no need to accept what he thinks," the Union minister said.
Asked whether he thought Banerjee's views on the state of Indian Economy were biased, Goyal said the reporter should pose this question to Banerjee himself.
Banerjee had recently said that Indian economy was on shaky ground, adding the data currently available does not hold any assurance for economic revival anytime soon.
Asked about Reserve Bank's Rs 1.76 lakh crore surplus transfer to the Central government, Goyal said that it was not the government which took the money.
Goyal added that they also know a little bit about the economy.
"As on today, RBI has Rs 10 to 11 lakh crore reserve. I have studied it in detail," he said, adding there is no purpose to have such a high reserves.
The Congress slammed Union minister Piyush Goyal for his remarks that Banerjee's suggestion of a minimum income scheme to the party was rejected by Indian voters and there was no need to "accept what he thinks", saying it smacked of "arrogance".
Reacting to Goyal's remarks, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said in a tweet, "...So electoral victory makes Nobel experts wrong, maybe ignorant; Nyay bad because BJP returned to power. Amazing inverse logic and huge arrogance."