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Congress claim that it is a ₹3.22 lakh crore package

Published: May 25, 2020

Congress leader contradict the statement of ₹ 20 lakh crore package

The actual quantum of the Atmanirbhar stimulus package announced by the government is not ₹20 lakh crore or 10% of the country’s GDP as claimed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi but merely ₹3.22 lakh crore, which is 1.6% of the GDP, the Congress said on Sunday, hours after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the final tranche. Addressing an online press conference, Congress spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member Anand Sharma said while the Congress welcomed the additional allocation of ₹40,000 crore for the Mahatama Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, all the announcements put together add up to a fraction of what the government had promised. “It all adds up to ₹3.22 lakh crore, beginning from the first announcement of ₹1.76 lakh crore, which is 1.6% of the GDP. This is not a time for political one-upmanship, but, I would like to debate this with the Finance Minister, let her contradict what I am saying that what you have given does not total up even to 2% of the GDP,” Mr. Sharma said.

The Congress has been criticising the government of taking the loan route instead of extending immediate help with cash transfers. “We want to convey that there is a huge difference between what is wage support, income support, financial support and stimulus to the economy as compared to the borrowing, credit and additional loan,” he added. Because of the extended lockdown, which was extended for the fourth time on Sunday, the country had lost more than 7% of the GDP, which amounted to ₹18 lakh crore, he said. The party also criticised the opening up of sensitive sectors, including nuclear energy, to the private sector. “Corona pandemic and the National Disaster Management Act have not empowered the government to embark upon a grand clearance sale, as I said yesterday [on Saturday] of India’s national assets. These issues will have to be discussed, revisited and corrected,” he added.

Parliaments of nearly 23 countries had met virtually, but “we continue to dither even to hold meetings of standing committees of Parliament. What is happening in India? We are the largest democracy. We are taking the ordinance route arbitrarily,” Mr. Sharma said. The Congress also criticised Ms. Sitharaman’s claim of adequate support to the State governments. “Modi govt. acting as a ‘mai-baap’ sarkar to state govts. Tax devolution and statutory grants to state governments is now passed of as “generous support”. It’s your primary Constitutiona obligation, Finance Minister, and comes before Centre’s own expenditure,” Congress leader Jairam Ramesh tweeted.

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