New Delhi: The Communist Party of India-Marxist on Monday termed the measures announced by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to support the pandemic-hit economy as yet another exercise in repackaging the earlier announcements with no increase in expenditure.
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said people should have more money to spend to give a boost to the economy, which would increase domestic demand. Sitharaman on Monday called for providing an additional loan of Rs 1.5 lakh crore on government guarantee to small and medium industries, additional funds to the health sector, loans to tourism agencies and tourist guides or five lakh foreigners to support the economy hit by the corona virus. Announced measures like duty free visa to tourists.
‘Another repackaging exercise’
Under the previously announced free food grains scheme, an additional incentive package of Rs 6.29 lakh crore was announced, including an additional subsidy of Rs 93,869 crore on providing free food grains till November and Rs 14,775 crore on fertilizers. Reacting to the announcements, Yechury tweeted, “Another exercise in repackaging the earlier announcements without increasing the expenditure. Purchasing power is needed to increase demand for people to live and to bring the economy back on track. It doesn’t do that.’
“Given our low vaccination rates and the new forms emerging, free visas are not going to boost tourist inflows,” he said. Similarly, credit guarantee is not an incentive for tourism stakeholders. He further said that the only two new additional outlays are for the previously announced fertilizer subsidy of Rs 14,775 crore and PMGKAY extension of Rs 93,869 crore after much delay by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He said, ‘Informal sector workers have been the most affected during the pandemic lockdown after being battered by the 2016 demonetisation. They have not been included in the Bharat Rozgar Yojana as it covers only provident fund payments. The CPI(M) leader said, “What India needs today is to put more money in the hands of the people to spend so that domestic demand can be increased to give a boost to the economy.”
He also said that people need free quality health care for all to fight the pandemic. He alleged that the health package announced by the Finance Minister is a set of loan and investment guarantees at an interest rate of 7.95 per cent which will increase the health cost.
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