Rahul Gandhi says backbone of unorganised sector broken

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi speaks on COVID-19 and unemployment in the final episode of his series ‘Arthvyavastha Ki Baat, Rahul Gandhi ke saath’, in New Delhi on Wednesday, September 9, 2020   | Photo Credit: PTI

In the fourth and final part of the video series on the Indian economy, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said Prime Minister Narendra Modi “misled the country” by saying that the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic would be won in 21 days. Instead, in those 21 days, the “backbone of the unorganised sector was broken”, Mr. Gandhi alleged. The unplanned lockdown, which was imposed without prior notice, was the “third attack” on the unorganised sector, he said.

Also read: Borrow from RBI to bridge GST gap, Centre tells States

In the earlier video series, Mr. Gandhi listed “demonetisation” and “faulty implementation of the GST” as the other reasons that led to a collapse of the unorganised sector.

“The poor, those working in small and medium businesses, are daily wage earners. They eat with what they earn each day. When you announced a lockdown without a notice, you attacked them. The Prime Minister said the fight will be for 21 days, the backbone of the unorganised sector broke in 21 days,” he said.

The government did not heed to the Congress’s repeated advice that there was a crying need to implement a cash transfer scheme on the lines of NYAY to help the poor. “We suggested that for small and medium businesses, you should prepare a package. They need to be saved. Without this money, they will not be able to survive, but the government did nothing. Instead, the government waived taxes worth lakhs of crores of the richest 15-20 people,” he stated.

Also read: GDP numbers should alarm us all, says Raghuram Rajan

A tokenism?, asks Chidambaram

On these lines, senior Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, in a series of tweets, asked whether the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana, the rescue package offered by the government to tide over the financial crisis in the wake of COVID-19, was a “relief” in any real sense or tokenism?

Under the National Social Assistance Programme, Mr. Chidambaram pointed out, 2.81 crore persons got ₹2,814 crore or ₹1000 a person. He asked, “Could that sum have kept body and soul together?”

Also read: Rahul Gandhi lists 6 'Modi-made disasters'

Similarly, in Jan Dhan accounts, holding women got ₹1500 each over three months; just ₹500 a month to run daily affairs. Migrant families were given 2.67 lakh tonnes of grains over two months, which amounted to just 5 kg a month for a family to sustain on.

“The numbers prove that the money given was niggardly and totally insufficient. And certainly, the money could not have acted as a ‘stimulus’ to boost demand and revive the economy,” Mr. Chidambaram stated.

Mr. Gandhi said the lockdown was not an attack on the coronavirus. It was an attack on the poor of India. “It was an attack on the future of our youth. The lockdown was an attack on labourers, farmers and small shopkeepers. It was an attack on our unorganised sector,” he added.

Our code of editorial values

Related Topics
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 7:21:27 AM |

Next Story