Central Government under the leadership of Prime Minister should come out with a 'White Paper' to generate a consensus among political parties on the issue of giveaways or freebies, former RBI Governor D Subbarao has said adding that there has to be a thorough debate on how to impose restraints on political parties in this regard.

He also said the public should be made more aware of the cost and benefits of these freebies and it is the responsibility of the Government to educate people on this.

“I think this is ultimately a political issue and there has to be political consensus on this. The leadership has to be taken by the Central Government and the Prime Minister. I believe they must float a white paper and try to generate a consensus.

"Educate people on the pros, and cons of these giveaways or freebies ( and ensure) how we can put a restraint on that and how we can enforce it,” the former RBI governor told PTI in a recent interaction.

Subbarao said that it is incumbent on the government to provide some safety nets to the most vulnerable sections and also introspect as to how far they can be stretched, given the fiscal constraints.

“You should ask (if ) it is the best use of this money or we can do something better. So I think we should have a more informed and vigorous debate on freebies and how we can impose some restraint on political parties,” he opined.

On some of the States crossing Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) limits, he said States and the Central Government should maintain fiscal discipline and the FRBM targets should be adhered to.

To a query, Subbarao said that according to the IMF study, India needs to grow at the rate of 7.6 per cent consistently till 2047 for it to become a developed nation by 2047.