Oppn parties hit out at govt on Covid package
NEWDELHI:The opposition parties expressed disappointment with the special Covid-19 stimulus package announced by the Centre on Wednesday with the Congress claiming that it has nothing for the migrant workers walking back to their home states.
The Congress fielded former finance minister, P Chidambaram, to counter the government’s announcements.
“There is nothing in what the finance minister said for the lakhs of poor, hungry and devastated migrant workers who have walked — and many thousands are still walking — back to their home states. This is a cruel blow dealt to those who toil every day,” he said, addressing a news conference through video.
“There is also nothing by way of cash transfer to the bottom half of the population (13 crore families) who have been pushed into destitution. Only yesterday, Prof Thomas Pikketty [the French economist] pleaded for cash transfers to the poor,” added Chidambaram.
“Except for the modest MSME package, we are disappointed with today’s announcements,” he said.
West Bengal chief minister and TMC supremo Mamata
Banerjee said, “The special economic package announced by the union government is nothing but a big zero. It is eyewash to fool the people. There is nothing for the unorganised sector, public spending and employment generation,” she told reporters.
“Yesterday, when the Prime Minister announced ~20 lakh crore package, we were hopeful that the interest of the states will be looked into. But today, after the union finance minister made the announcements, it was found that everything that was said was a bluff,” she said.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav called the package mere rhetoric.
“First it was the false promise of (~) 15 lakh, and now it is the claim of (~) 20 lakh crore...Now, the 133 crore people will be hit by a 133-time bigger ‘jumla’ (rhetoric)...How can anyone believe this...,” he tweeted in Hindi.
Congress leader Manish Tewari also criticised the government’s move. “It is a clear case of skewed priorities of the government. Today, India faces the single biggest humanitarian crisis after the Partition in 1947 and the displacement of people from East Pakistan. There are millions of migrant labourers left without jobs and shelter above their heads. But for the government it seems they don’t exist,” he said.