Chidambaram Hits Out at Govt’s Stimulus Package, Calls It a ‘Hoax’
Chidambaram called the ‘20 Lakh stimulus package’ announced in May by the Modi government a ‘massive failure’.
Former finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Tuesday, 13 October, addressed the media virtually on the stimulus package announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Slamming the package, the former finance minister said: “The grand announcement yesterday was no stimulus package to push economic growth, it was another sly attempt to dazzle people with exaggerated numbers and lead them to believe that the government is hands-on and responsive to the needs of people and the economy.”
Chidambaram also mentioned that the package reminds him of a Hindi proverb “Khoda pahad nikli chuhiya.”
On Monday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a Rs 73,000 crore package, including advance payment of a part of wages to central government employees in lieu of LTC, to stimulate consumer demand and investment in the economy damaged by the coronavirus pandemic, Times of India reported.
The finance minister also announced the facility of taking an interest-free loan up to Rs 10,000 under the Special Festival Advance Scheme for all employees of the central government. Employees can take this loan until 31 March 2021.
Calling the ‘20 Lakh stimulus package’ announced in May by the Modi government a ‘massive failure’, Chidambaram said: “The package was a failure because it was a hoax. Remember, yesterday we got the news that IIP had contracted for six months in a row and retail inflation surged to 7.34 percent,” the statement read.
The former finance minister went on to add: “The numbers claimed this time, too, is a hoax. The stimulus is not of a value of Rs 73,000 crore. Nor is it the value of 1,00,000 crore. The fiscal impact of these announcements is estimated by analysts to be a mere 0.1 percent of GDP.”
Commenting on the Leave Travel Concession (LTC) voucher scheme and the festival advance, Chidambaram said the government was trying to play the role of “maa-baap” by telling government servants what amount and on what goods and when they should spend their own money.
“Just as BJP has been telling people what to eat, what to wear, what language to speak, who to love, who to marry etc, it is now trying to control people on their spending preferences. This is another piece of retrograde interference in people’s lives.”P Chidambaram, Former Finance Minister
Talking about GST shortfall, the former finance minister said: “Rs 12,000 crore offered to the states is not a grant but a loan. All the big states put together will get 7,500 crore which is a minuscule fraction of capital expenditure of Rs 9,00,000 crore budgeted by the state for 2020-21.”
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