India

Bank loan waivers example of ‘freebie’ culture: Congress

Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh.

Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh. | Photo Credit: R. V. Moorthy

Writing off bank loans is an example of freebie culture and not providing food to the economically weaker sections, the Congress said on August 12 to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his remarks on ending freebie culture.

Why were bank loans worth ₹5.8 lakh crore written off and why was corporate tax worth ₹1.45 lakh crore reduced, asked Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh at a press conference.

Explaining the figure of ₹5.8 lakh crore, Mr. Vallabh said loans worth ₹9.92 lakh crore were written off by banks in the last five years and of this, ₹7.27 lakh crore is the share of public sector banks.

The government, he said, in an answer to a parliamentary question had admitted that only ₹1.03 lakh crore was recovered of the amount written off by it. Assuming that the recovery from the written-off loan will increase to 20% in the coming time, Mr. Vallabh claimed that the public sector banks wouldn’t have recovered the loan of ₹5.8 lakh crore.

“When will there be a discussion on freebies given by the public sector banks of ₹5.8 lakh crore in the last five years?” asked Mr. Vallabh.

Posing a series of questions at the press conference, he also wondered if there will be a discussion on the loss of ₹1.45 lakh crore per year to the government due to the reduction in corporate tax rates.

“Why are small amounts or assistance given to the poor freebies ( rewri), while the freebies that the rich friends get all the time through low tax rates, write offs and exemptions are ‘necessary incentives’ ( gajak)?” Mr. Vallabh added.

The Congress spokesperson cited schemes such as Food Security Act, MSP to farmers, MGNREGA and midday meal that had provided relief to the poor during tough times. He also reminded the Modi government of its promises for 2022 - a house for every Indian family, doubling of farmers’ income, making the bullet train operational and the size of the India’s economy growing to $5 trillion.

“How and when will this culture of false promises end? Is the PM going to give new deadlines of promises made for the year 2022 using smoke and mirrors culture?” he asked.


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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 11:34:14 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bank-loan-waivers-example-of-freebie-culture-congress/article65761692.ece