An employee works at a factory of Renesas Semiconductor Co. during a government organised tour of the facility following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Beijing, China May 14, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Nobel laureate lays stress on informal sector post Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed the financial system’s ugly reality that it doesn’t recognise casual sector like ladies and migrant staff primarily due to the Western bias in dealing with the monetary methods, Bangladeshi economist and Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus mentioned on Friday.

In an internet interplay with Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, Yunus proposed an autonomous rural financial system as an answer to this downside. It was part of a collection of video conversations Gandhi has held with international and Indian thought leaders to debate the Covid-19 disaster and its penalties on the nation’s financial system.

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Yunus mentioned the agricultural financial system has turn into an appendix to the city financial system. “Again, a traditional western way of looking at the urban economy… [as] the hub of activities. The rural economy is the supplier of labour. It is the labour producing factory… if you do not find a job, you have bad luck…,” mentioned Yunus.

Yunus mentioned the pandemic has given an opportunity to replicate and take daring choices. “In a normal situation, [we] will not pay attention to all these items. We are so busy making money. So I said coronavirus gave us a respite, gave us a window of thinking and we have a choice now.”

He mentioned an autonomous rural financial system will be construct parallel to the city financial system. “Today, the situation has changed than 100 years back. Technology has given us a facility which never existed before. Cities were important because… [they] had the infrastructure. Rural areas did not have the infrastructure. Today, infrastructure is not limited to urban areas,” he mentioned. Yunus mentioned rural areas have telecommunications, roads, transportation, and communications. “So everything is there. So what is it that you have to go to the city [for]?”

He was referring to the latest exodus of migrant labourers from cities to rural areas due to job losses in the course of the nationwide lockdown imposed to examine pandemic unfold from March 25.

Rahul Gandhi linked Yunus’s views to Mahatma Gandhi’s financial philosophy of the self-sufficient village financial system. “…if I think about Mahatma Gandhi, he, 78 years ago, was saying that we need to think about the rural economy,” he mentioned.

Yunus mentioned the pandemic has supplied an opportunity to assume new, a possibility to make a break, and never simply quietly return to the pre-Covid time. “Why do we have to go back to that world… with global warming, with wealth concentration… why do we have to go back to that system to create wealth concentration? Why do you have to go back to that world where artificial intelligence is taking away jobs…?”

Yunus, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2006, established the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh in 1983 to assist the poor escape poverty by offering them loans. He mentioned the financial institution’s basis was based mostly on mutual belief. “We do not need any papers. In the entire Grameen system, there is no paper. There is no collateral… I say Grameen Bank is the only bank in the world which is lawyer free.”