As a counter to the statement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on freebies, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, on Thursday, said the country’s money is for the people of the country, “not for waiving off the loans of friends of politicians”.
Addressing a digital press conference here, the Delhi Chief Minister said, “Where did all the money of the Centre go? They are waiving loans of their friends with this government money. They have even waived the taxes of their billionaire friends.”
Pointing out that the Centre has time and again repeated that they don’t have money, he asked why the money meant for the states has been reduced.
“Tax being collected is much higher as compared to 2014, yet they have no money. Where is the money going,” Kejriwal asked.
“The budget of the Central government in 2014 was Rs 20 lakh crore, today it is Rs 40 lakh crore. Where is all this money going? They waived off Rs 10 lakh crore loans of billionaire friends. If they do not waive off lakhs and crores, then there is no tax on food items, there is no shortage of pension money,” the Delhi Chief Minister said.
“Never in the past 75 years has the government taxed basic food grains. Tax over petrol and diesel is over Rs 1,000 crore. They are now saying all free things by the government should end and fees should be charged in government schools and hospitals. They are saying free rations to be stopped,” the Delhi Chief Minister said.
Modi, who dedicated the second generation (2G) Ethanol Plant in Panipat, Haryana to the nation yesterday via video conferencing, said, “Selfish announcements of freebies will prevent the country from becoming self-reliant, increase burden on honest taxpayers and prevent investment in new technologies.”
He said that the people who have a tendency to avoid problems by adopting shortcuts for political selfishness can never solve the problems permanently.
Those adopting short-cuts may get applause for some time, and may gain political advantage, but that does not solve the problem. Adopting a short-cut will definitely result in short-circuit, the Prime Minister said.
“Instead of following short-cuts, our government is engaged in permanent solutions to the problems. A lot has been said about the problems of stubble over the years. But those with a short-cut mentality could not solve it,” he said.
The Prime Minister said that if there is selfishness in politics, then anyone can come and announce to give free petrol and diesel. Such steps will take away the rights of children, and prevent the country from becoming self-reliant. Due to such selfish policies, the burden on honest taxpayers of the country will also increase, the Prime Minister remarked.
To deal with the challenges that the country is facing, it needs clear intentions, extreme hard work, policy and huge investments, the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister said if the government does not have money, then even the plants like ethanol, biogas and solar plants will also close down.
“We have to remember that even though we will not be there, but this nation will always be there, the children living in it will always be there. Those who sacrificed their lives for freedom have also worked with this eternal spirit…..As a country, we have to take a pledge that we will not allow such tendencies to grow. This is a collective responsibility of the country,” he said.
Earlier, in July this year, the Prime Minister had said, “This Revari culture (or the freebies culture) is dangerous for the development of the country. Those with Revari culture will never build new expressways, new airports or defence corridors for you. Together, we have to defeat this mentality, remove Revari culture from the politics of the country.”