After Modi’s blank page, will wait for Sitharaman to help poor migrants: Chidambaram on Rs 20 lakh crore package

Former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram has hit out at Prime Minister Modi’s special stimulus package of Rs 20 lakh crore that he announced on Tuesday evening with an aim to revive the Indian economy from the lockdown. He has called the announcement a mere “headline and a blank page”.

In a series of tweets, P Chidambaram said, “Yesterday, PM gave us a headline and a blank page. Naturally, my reaction was a blank!”

PM Modi also said that the details of the mega relief package will be announced by the finance ministry later on Wednesday and declare which sector will get what benefits from the package.

“Today, we look forward to the FM filling the blank page. We will carefully count every ADDITIONAL rupee that the government will actually infuse into the economy. We will also carefully examine who gets what,” said Chidambaram.

Speaking on the thousands of migrant labourers walking home from different states, Chidambaram said, “The first thing we will look for is what the poor, hungry and devastated migrant workers can expect after they have walked hundreds of kilometres to their home states. We will also examine what the bottom half of the population (13 crore families) will get in terms of REAL MONEY.”

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has been demanding direct cash transfer to the bank accounts of the poor population, which has been worst-affected with the lockdown.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a Rs 20 lakh crore package, which combined the government’s recent announcements on supporting key sectors as also measures rolled out by the Reserve Bank of India.

PM Modi said the mega package will address the concerns of all those who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the nationwide lockdown. He also mentioned migrant labourers and said the package will help them.

The Congress and the CPI(M) said India was disappointed by the PM’s silence on migrants’ woes as he has failed to address the issue.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the mammoth heartbreaking human tragedy of migrant workers walking back home needed compassion, care and safe return.

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