Kolkata: Noble laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz on Thursday praised India's right to food plans and said such an initiative is still not part of discourse in the US.
On India's the right to food proposal, Stiglitz said, "Such debates are still not a part of the discourse in America."
The proposed Food Bill pending in Parliament seeks to give legal entitlement to subsidised foodgrains to 63.5 percent of the country's population.
Commenting on the economic growth, he said, "Today, we look with amazement at some of the rates of growth in the emerging markets. That growth is not small measure because these countries have learned how to close the knowledge gap."
He also said the emerging countries have learnt to close the knowledge gap with the developed countries.
The economist also cautioned India that it cannot afford to waste its resources to mitigate the impact of economic crisis.
He said that the US government had 'wasted' resources to mitigate the scale of devastation in the country's financial sector brought about by the recession.
"Let this be a warning for India. America is a rich country that can, perhaps, afford such waste. India is not," he said.
The economist stressed on the need for the government to play a major role in the growth and development of a "learning" society and not everything should be left to the market forces.
Stiglitz said that 'unfettered markets' in the US had led to the world-wide economic crisis which surfaced in 2008.
"We should be clear... recession is a failure of unfettered markets and the main failure of the government was not doing what it should have done - to restrain markets," Stiglitz said in the convocation speech at the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) here.
Earlier, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said that the ISI had been playing a leading role in data collection and analysis exercise in India on the basis of which several important government policy measures had been taken over the years.
After Kolkata and Delhi, ISI would soon have a new centre in Chennai.
First Published: Thursday, January 12, 2012, 22:44