Former union finance minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram described Prime Minister Modi’s announcement of Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package as a “headline and a blank page” on Wednesday. He also went on to say that the thing to be examined in the announcement would be ‘who gets what’.
In a big push to revive the economy, PM Modi on Tuesday announced the package of Rs 20 lakh crore, which includes measures already announced by the government and the RBI so far to tackle the COVID-19 crisis. The amount is nearly 10 per cent of India’s GDP.
In a series of tweets Chidambaram said: “Yesterday, PM gave us a headline and a blank page. Naturally, my reaction was a blank! Today, we look forward to the FM filling the blank page. We will carefully count every ADDITIONAL rupee that the government will actually infuse into the economy.”
We will also carefully examine who gets what?
And the first thing we will look for is what the poor, hungry and devastated migrant workers can expect after they have walked hundreds of kilometres to their home states.
— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) May 13, 2020
“We will also carefully examine who gets what? And the first thing we will look for is what the poor, hungry and devastated migrant workers can expect after they have walked hundreds of kilometres to their home states,” said the Congress leader. “We will also examine what the bottom half of the population (13 crore families) will get in terms of REAL MONEY.”
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has termed the COVID-19 economic package of Rs 20 lakh crore, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as a “reform stimulus, a mindset overhaul, and a thrust in governance.”
“This shall not be just a financial package, but a reform stimulus, a mindset overhaul, and a thrust in governance.” The “Aatma Nirbhar Bharat” mission, she said, would include “everyone -a hawker/street vendor, a trader, a MSME, an honest tax paying middle class, a manufacturer etc”, said Sitharaman.
The package includes Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s assistance and a Rs 1.74 lakh crore fund announced earlier, days after the country went into lockdown to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Another opposition party, Trinamool Congress on Tuesday termed Modi’s address to the nation “incomplete and disappointing”, saying there was no proper direction on how the financial package would be used and also what would happen after the third phase of the lockdown ends on May 17.
“Most of his speech was all about boasting about his government’s so-called achievements. The address has been incomplete and disappointing. There is no clear direction about how this Rs 20 lakh crore would be spent.
“What will happen after May 17, there is no clear indication regarding it. He spoke about Lockdown 4.0, but what will be its structure nobody knows,” veteran TMC leader and MP Sougata Roy said. While delivering his speech, the prime minister did not spare a word about the ongoing migrant labour crisis, Roy added.
“Those labourers who have lost their jobs and are stranded, what they will do after returning home, there is no clear narrative about it,” he said.
“The special economic package is for our labourers, farmers, honest taxpayers, MSMEs and cottage industry,” the prime minister said in a televised address to the nation.
TMC Rajya Sabha party leader Derek O’ Brien said, “We saw the wrapping paper but we don’t know what’s inside the package. Because he didn’t announce the details. How will this money be raised, will the government borrow, will it raise taxes? The devil lies in the details of the package, for which we have to wait for one or two more days.