इंडियन आवाज़     03 Oct 2023 10:42:56      انڈین آواز

Finance Minister’s announcement dashed hopes of poor, migrants: Congress

Andalib Akhter / New Delhi

Soon after second media briefing held by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in which she decoded the central government’s Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package, the Congress party hit out at the government saying there was very little in the financial package to help the most vulnerable section of society.

The Congress said that the government’s economic package had, so far, fallen way short of what Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised the nation and dubbed it as a “jumla package”.

A senior spokesperson of the party, Anand Sharma, said the country believed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was serious when he made the “dramatic” announcement of giving 10 per cent of the GDP as a package to revive the economy and support workers and migrant labourers, and that expectations had soared.

“The Finance Minister’s announcement dashed all hopes,” he said.

“Do PM and FM understand there is a fundamental difference between liquidity measures, Farmer loans and credit to Industry, ongoing welfare or food security programmes & MNREGA already budgeted for from Economic package and resource support” asked Sharma.

FM explains 2nd tranche of relief measures under Aatma-Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan

Senior party leader Ahmed Patel said: “It is not an economic package. It is an empty package wrapped with speeches since the last three days.”

Congress spokesperson Lok Sabha MP Manish Tewari slammed the government for having sponsored the biggest humanitarian crisis that the country has ever faced. He said that a meagre Rs 3,500 crore was all that was allocated for 11 crore migrant workers of our country. Slamming the Finance Minister, the Congress leader said that the govt has turned a blind eye to the plight of the migrant workers for they see the pain that they are going through, yet nothing is being done to ease it.

The party questioned the inhumane treatment meted out to migrant workers, where they were held in camps through the first lockdown, sprayed with disinfectants and then abandoned to walk back home, with the government taking no responsibility for their safe return. The government could utilise all the state busses that stand idle today to ferry the migrant workers rather than leaving them to walk miles, while several have already lost their lives, the Opposition party said.

Congress spokespersons Manish Tewari and Supriya Shrinate questioned the government on its decision to solely provide 5 kgs of either rice or flour (aata) along with 1 kg of grams (chana) as ration for sustenance to the migrant workers when they return to their native places.

“We expected that the Finance Minister would come out with what the government is doing to ferry the migrants who are walking on the roads back to their homes safely. But nothing like that happened,” Tewari said

Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcements were nothing but a “jumla package”.

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