On Wednesday, Kannada news broadcaster Public TV had run a special episode on its network claiming Narendra Modi-led Union government has come up with an initiative of ‘Helicopter Money’, by which money will be airdropped from helicopters to every village to combat the economic slowdown in the country due to corona pandemic.
In its show, Public TV claimed that the Modi government has plans to airdrop currency notes from choppers into every village in India as part of “Helicopter Money” initiative.
“Not a loan. No interest. Currency notes will be airdropped to every village by helicopters,” said a ticker on the Public TV.
Similar reports were also shared on the network claiming that PM Modi will be distributing money to people due to boost spending which has been at a low due to the coronavirus pandemic.
What is ‘Helicopter Money’?
Helicopter Money is an alternative to quantitative easing. This is an unconventional monetary policy tool aimed at bringing a slowing economy back on track. It involves printing large sums of money and distributing it to the public.
American economist Milton Friedman coined the concept of ‘Helicopter Money’, whose literal meaning denotes a helicopter dropping money from the sky.
However, in reality, Friedman used the term to signify “unexpectedly dumping money onto a struggling economy with the intention to shock it out of a deep slump”. Under such a policy, a central bank directly increases the money supply by giving money to the government, who then distributes the new cash to the population with the aim of boosting demand.
The concept of ‘Helicopter Money’ is in the news currently as the country’s economy is at an unprecedented low due to the coronavirus pandemic. Telangana chief minister KC Rao had offered his suggestion that said the centre should use ‘Helicopter money’ to help out states at such difficult times.
However, the reporters at Public TV perhaps took the literal meaning of the macroeconomic concept and produced a TV show out of it to fool the public at these challenging times.
Outrage against Public TV for making false claims
Social media users are enraged against the irresponsible reporting of Public TV after its report appeared to be falsifying the concept of ‘Helicopter Money’. Netizens urged the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to act against Public TV.
Dear @PrakashJavdekar this @publictvnews is telling gullible people that @narendramodi plans to airdrop currency notes from choppers into every village in India. What kind of watchdog is your I&B ministry? Don’t you have the spine to break the liars apart?— Ajay Acharya 🇮🇳 ಅಜೆಯ್ ಆಚಾರ್ಯ🚩 (@ajayacharya) April 16, 2020
News nahi Nuisance pic.twitter.com/6uY1VJbLEH
The netizens also attacked Public TV for fooling gullible people at a time when people of this country are facing difficulties to sustain their lives. The users also raised their complaint DIPR Karnataka to fact check the claims made by the Public TV.
Clarification by the government
Following the complaint, the PIB also had to clarify that the claim of the government dropping money from helicopters in every town was false and stated that the government was doing no such thing.