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Economy Suffering From 'Minor Cold', Says NITI Aayog's Bibek Debroy

New Delhi:  Bibek Debroy, who heads the new Economic Advisory Council set up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, took swipes at BJP veteran Yashwant Sinha’s critique of the economy and said what the former finance minister called a “serious emergency” was actually a “minor cold”.

Mr Debroy, who is also a member of the government think-tank Niti Aayog, said while there may be some minor problems with the economy, it was nothing to be worried about.

He was speaking at the launch of the book “India @70, Modi @3.5” – edited by him and Ashok Malik – an event where Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also hit back at Yashwant Sinha, who has demolished the government’s economic decisions in a stinging article for the Indian Express titled “I need to speak now”.

Mr Debroy remarked that he had a cold and the Indian economy was also going through something similar.”There is a place called Yashwant Place where when I consulted a doctor, he said this is a serious medical emergency… might be chikungunya. You might die,” he said, in an apparent reference to Yashwant Sinha’s article, which uses terms like distress and “unprecedented existential crisis”.

“I then went to another more sensible doctor, who said you have just got a minor cold, relax. Give it a few days, and it will pass,” Mr Debroy remarked.

The Finance Minister also had an acerbic comeback for Yashwant Sinha as he obliquely referred to him as “a job applicant at 80” and also remarked that he did not “have the luxury as yet of being a former finance minister” or a “former finance minister who has turned a columnist”.

(with inputs from IANS)