DMK president M.K. Stalin on Friday slammed the Central government and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcements over the last two days, terming them as “cosmetic measures” to fool the people.
“This is no real stimulus. These are cosmetic measures that are announced in an attempt to fool the people. Instead of making such ostentatious announcements for political gains, they should step down from their high seats and see the real picture on the ground,” Mr. Stalin said in a statement.
He said when parties like the DMK and the Congress had asked the Centre to provide a relief of ₹5,000 and ₹7,500 to the people, to tide over the COVID-19 lockdown crisis, the Finance Minister was announcing ‘credit card loans’ for farmers.
“They are offering ₹10,000 as loans to roadside vendors. When people are suffering from poverty at the moment, these loans will be brought into effect after one month,” he said.
Mr. Stalin said providing monetary assistance was like providing first aid. “Already hundres of farmers are committing suicide as they are unable to repay their loans. Now you are placing another large rock on their heads saying you will offer them one more loan,” Mr. Stalin charged.
He asked Ms. Sitharaman why she could not waive off these loans in one-go like the way former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and the UPA waived off ₹7,000 crore and ₹60,000 crore loans respectively.
What was the use of providing rations to migrant workers for two months, when they were presently suffering from hunger, he asked. “Taking care of them is the most important thing, not schemes like ‘Make in India’ or ‘Stand up India’. It is the duty of the Indian government to feed its citizens. That is the crux of the Food Security Act as well,” he said.
Mr. Stalin also asked the Finance Minister as to how she announced that ration would be provided to eight crore migrant workers when the Home Secretary had earlier informed the Supreme Court that only 4.14 crore migrant workers were there in the country. “Why is there so much contradiction?,” he asked.