Photo: ANI
Photo: ANI

Mumbai: On Friday Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the third tranche of the economic relief package that is being put forward to support those affected by the novel coronavirus outbreak. But while people were expecting immediate financial relief from Modi government in the form of a relief, the central government had instead announced a loan package, Maharashtra Congress President Balsaheb Thorat said on Friday. He added that as the Modi government did not have any plan to help the people, they were appealing to people to be self-reliant.

The poor do not need futuristic schemes. Right now they need direct cash transfer, Thorat contended. To this end, he suggested that the Modi government should listen to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and start a cash transfer scheme for the poor.

“The package announced by the Finance Minister over the last three days largely contains the schemes already announced in the budget. She is suggesting that people plant a seed now and wait for the fruit for the next five years. The schemes regarding apiary, cold storage and warehouses are already in existence. Today farmers are worried about how to sell their agriculture products. How can farmers wait till the construction of warehouses?” he asked.

“The cluster scheme and fishery related wealth scheme are already in existence. But the fishermen need direct cash support. The government announced vaccination scheme for cattle. But they primarily need fodder. How will they get it?” he asked.

“The central government announced a scheme for perishable items. But no compensation was announced for the loss of perishable items of farmers. Farmers are suffering from this loss and they need immediate help,” Thorat who is also the state’s Revenue minister said.

“The farmers are in dire need of help for their Kharif crop. They need easy financial support and the burden of past loans upon them needs to be reduced. They should be supplied with seeds, fertilisers and pesticides. The central government should also extend their supportive hand towards the state government to extend support to farmers. But the package lacks all these things. The announcement regarding infrastructure facilities and new rules are cheating farmers,” criticised Ashok Chavan, the former Chief Minister and currently Maharashtra’s Public Works Development Minister.

“The package should have been announced in detail in a single day. But the figures of the package were announced by the Prime Minister, and the announcement of details by the Finance minister over three days is surprising. The package is like a TV serial in which promo is shown by PM and the Finance Minister is presenting daily episodes”, Chavan taunted.

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