Abhijit Banerjee, the winner of the 2019 Nobel prize for economics, on Tuesday backed the government’s flagship health insurance scheme Ayushman Bharat and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to reform the country’s bureaucracy, but called for aggressive steps to deal with the problems in the banking sector.

Banerjee, who called on Modi, said the Prime Minister gave him quite a lot of time, discussing his vision of India as well as his efforts to reform the bureaucracy.

Banerjee, who later addressed reporters, said the Prime Minister joked about the media trying to bait him into giving “anti-Modi” remarks. He declined to take questions on the state of the economy, saying the questions were too broad.

Banerjee, however, said there was a need to bring down the government’s stake in state-run banks to less than 50% so that decisions were taken without fear of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), news agency PTI reported.