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Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee gives big thumbs up to Modicare

Abhijit Banerjee, the winner of 2019 Nobel prize in economics, today praised Modi government's Ayushman Bharat scheme which is often referred as Modicare.

"Ayushman Bharat does something very important... Healthcare expenses wipe families out... so it serves an important gap in our economic structure...," he said during a press conference.

The scheme, launched in September 2018, aims to provide healthcare to 10-crore poor and lower middle- income families through a health insurance plan providing a cover of Rs 5 lakh per family.

On India's healthcare system, Banerjee said that though India has one of the highest private healthcare expenditure in the world, people are not getting value of money.

Banerjee, who met PM Narendra Modi earlier today, steered clear of controversial questions from the press on the state of Indian economy. Media reports earlier had quoted him saying that the Indian economy is on a shaky ground.

Earlier today, Banerjee said that the meeting with prime minister Modi was a unique experience.

"It was a privilege to have this meeting with the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister was kind enough to give me quite a lot of time and to talk a lot about his way of thinking about India which was quite unique," he said.

Banerjee, an Indian-origin economist and an academic professor, was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences along with his French-American wife Esther Duflo and American economist Michael Kremer "for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty."

The 58-year-old Kolkata-born economist is currently the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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