The Congress on Saturday alleged that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was harmful for the economy of the country and had pulled down the economic indicators while profiting a few capitalists. Reacting to the FM’s reply to the Union Budget discussions in the Lok Sabha on Saturday, Congress leader in the Lower House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury also said that the FM, instead of answering queries, kept hurling “derogatory remarks at Rahul Gandhi”.
“Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is harmful for the economy of the country. How does she explain Oxfam report revelations which said the lockdown made India’s billionaires 35 per cent richer, while 84 per cent of households’ support income suffered a loss and 1.7 lakh people lost their jobs every hour in April, 2020 alone,” Chowdhury said. The Congress leader asked how does the FM explain that income increase for India’s top 100 billionaires since March 2020, which is enough to give each of the 13.8 crore poorest people a cheque of over Rs 94,000 each.
“The finance minister’s misplaced priorities include tax concession for corporate in financial year 2019-20 that amounted over Rs 1.4 lakh crores. Instead of creating jobs, they used the money for trimming up their balance sheets,” alleged Chowdhury, asking how does she explain reducing the outlay for agriculture. He said the budget for agriculture had been reduced from Rs 1.54 lakh crore in the previous budget to 1.48 lakh crores in this budget, a cut of 6 per cent.
“It has been reduced from 5.1 pc to 4.3 pc of overall budget. What could be the possible explanation for slashing the MGNREGA fund in her budget? The allocation to MGNREGA has been cut from Rs 1.66 lakh crores this year to Rs 96,773 crores in 2021, a cut of around 42 per cent,” Chowdhury said, attacking the FM for petroleum subsidy which, he said, had hit everyone. The Congress leader said that instead of answering their queries, the FM “kept hurling derogatory remarks at Rahul Gandhi”.
“This is the government which does not honour the leaders and workers of the opposition party. over the opposition, they have been trampling each and every demand of our party,” said Chowdhury. Asked about whether Rahul Gandhi would visit the LAC if a related proposal of the parliamentary standing committee on defence goes through, Chowdhury said when the opposition wanted to visit Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370, they were not allowed.
“When we sought that the government send an all-party delegation to J&K after the abrogation of Article 370 we were not allowed to go. But the government allowed European Union leaders under an orchestrated visit. Even later they kept sending ambassadors of other countries to Kashmir for picnics but did not allow their own MPs to go,” he said.