Migrant workers and families who arrived from Maharashtra wait for transport to go back to their hometowns, in Prayagraj.
Migrant workers and families who arrived from Maharashtra wait for transport to go back to their hometowns, in Prayagraj.
—AFP

Agencies

New Delhi

The Congress slammed the government’s Rs20 lakh-crore package, saying it has “only 13 zeros” for farmers after the Finance Minister announced the third tranche of welfare schemes for the farmers on Friday.

“This is a big ‘jumla’ and Rs20 lakh-crore is only 13 zeros for the citizens of the country,” alleged Randeep Surjewala, Congress chief spokesperson.

The Rs20 lakh-crore package is not relief to countrymen but “voodoo economics” as there is no reality in the so called package, said Surjewala.

The party claimed the minister is only repackaging the Budget and she should apologise to the farmers as no direct benefit is being given to the farmers and it is “only headline and no helpline”.

It described the 3-day package annou­n­cement as only a “loan distribution drive” for already distressed farmers.

During the coronavirus pandemic, farmers and labourers are facing the most difficulty. Instead of giving them relief the Modi government is hurting the farmers and labourers and instead of providing help, it is pushing the farmer into a debt trap, said Surjewala.

He alleged it is clear the Modi government neither understands the pain of the farmer nor the problems of farming. Therefore, the farmers have not been extended any help, even worth a single penny.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday announced the Centre will set up a Rs1 lakh crore agri infrastructure fund for farm-gate infrastructure for farmers. She said financing facility of Rs1 lakh crore will be provided for funding in agriculture infrastructure projects at the farm-gate and aggregation points such as primary agricultural cooperative societies, farmer producer organisations and agriculture entrepreneurs, among others.

Who is lender, who is borrower: P Chidambaram on MSMEs

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram took a swipe at the Centre on Friday, saying the ministers of finance and MSMEs should “settle their accounts” first and allow the MSMEs to save themselves without the government’s “help”. He highlighted the differences between FM Nirmala Sitharaman and MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari, with the latter saying governments and PSUs owe Rs5 lakh-crore as unpaid dues to the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), while Sitharaman has said the government will offer collateral-free loans worth Rs3 lakh crore to the MSMEs. “Minister Gadkari says govts and PSUs owe Rs5 lakh-crore as unpaid dues to MSMEs. Sitharaman says she will offer collateral free loan of Rs3 lakh-cr to MSMEs (45 lakhs). So, who is the lender and who is the borrower?! Will the two ministers ‘settle their accounts’ first and let MSMEs save themselves without govt’s ‘help’,” he tweeted.

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