Mamata Ropes in Abhijit Banerjee to Plan WB’s Post-Pandemic Moves

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced the state government’s decision to form a Global Advisory Committee, a policy making body which will aid the state government in preparing a roadmap for COVID-19 response in Bengal.

The committee will be headed by Nobel laureate economist Abhijit Banerjee to help the state emerge from the economic repercussions of the pandemic.

“Due to lockdown, there’s no revenue. We don’t know how long we’ve to stay like this. We’ve to plan for future. Our government will form a Global Advisory Committee for COVID-19 response policy in state. Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee will be a part of the committee,” Hindustan Times quoted CM Banerjee as saying.

On 6 April, Abhijit Banerjee reportedly called on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the state secretariat Nabanna, according to ABP News, and said that the state government has a number of 'interesting' schemes which he would study before taking up her offer to work together.

The Telegraph reported that the chief minister said Bengal was the first state in the country to take such an initiative.

Quoting sources the report said, “She has spoken to Banerjee and requested him to help the state formulate strategies to minimise the impact of the pandemic on the economy.”

The total number of COVID-19 cases in West Bengal stand at 91, with three deaths.

Only 3,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) have been sent by the Centre, HT quoted the CM Banerjee as saying. She also said that the state arranged for 2,27,000 PPEs.

On 3 April, Friday, the Centre approved the release of Rs11,092 crore to states under State Disaster Risk Management Fund which states have been authorised to use for containment requirements.

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