On Thursday, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi spoke to Rajiv Bajaj, the managing director of Bajaj Auto, in a series of discussions in which the Gandhi-scion is speaking to experts on the effects of the pandemic.
In conversation with the managing director of Bajaj Auto, the former Congress President Rahul Gandhi went on to make misleading claims that the Narendra Modi government did not provide any stimulus package to various sectors of the economy, which has seen a downturn due to the effects of the global pandemic coronavirus and the subsequent lockdown imposed by the government to tackle it.
Speaking to Rajiv Bajaj, Rahul Gandhi claimed that it was shocking to him and his party as they tried to figure out why there was no stimulus package by the Modi government to support various sectors of the economy who are facing hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Rahul Gandhi claimed that he had sent feelers to the Modi government to understand the logic behind, what he claimed, that the government not ‘giving stimulus’.
In the interview, the Gandhi-scion listed some of the alleged responses given by the government regarding giving a stimulus package. Rahul Gandhi said that the insiders in the Modi government said to him that if at all the government provided handout to labour, they will get spoilt and they will not come back from their villages.
One of the other reasons given by the insiders in the Modi government to Rahul Gandhi, as he claimed, that giving out money to the poor and deprived may send a wrong message to the international community who will be needed to invest in the country. He also added that the sources inside the government said to him that a stimulus will be provided in the future to address the needs of the economy.
However, the Gandhi-scion did not provide any substantive proofs to show that the government had denied giving economic stimulus nor provided any official document saying so. Further, Rahul Gandhi did not even give a timeline for his so-called sending feelers to know the rationale behind decisions of the government.
As usual, Rahul Gandhi’s claims regarding the Modi government’s reluctance to provide fiscal stimulus is yet another lie as the government of India, along with the RBI, have been forefront at announcing relevant measures from time to time to address the economic woes that have currently plagued the country.
The Modi government, along with RBI, had announced two packages before May 13. Later, both the packages were subsumed into a single package under Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan economic package that is worth Rs 20 lakh crore.
Contrary to the claims made by the former Congress President Rahul Gandhi regarding the Modi government not providing any economic package to the sectors of the economy, the Modi government has announced a series of fiscal stimulus worth Rs 20 lakh crore to battle the economic downturn induced by the coronavirus outbreak.
In a series of announcements, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced various measures to be taken by the Modi government under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan to boost India’s sectors of the economy. The Finance Minister had announced a host of measures in five separate tranches under the Rs 20 lakh crore Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan economic package.
The relief package announced by the government includes a host of measures such as free food grains for distraught migrant workers, hike in foreign direct investment in defence, liquidity measures for the MSMEs, changes in Essential Commodities Act, increase in public expenditure in health, among others.
Here’s the split-up of the overall economic stimulus package:
The first tranche of the economic relief package was announced by Finance Minister on May 13. In the first tranche, Rs 5.94 lakh crore of liquidity measures were provided to shore up small and medium business and support to shadow banks and electricity distribution companies.
The definition of the MSME was changed and the threshold to qualify as MSMEs were raised. One of the significant announcement made by FM Sitharaman in the first tranche of the economic stimulus package was Rs 3 lakh crore collateral-free automatic loans for businesses. 100 per cent of the credit guarantee will be provided by the government to the banks and NBFCs on principal and interest.
Finance Minister Sitharaman on May 14 had announced the second tranche giving relief measures to migrant workers, street vendors, housing, employment generation for tribals and small farmers.
Totally Rs 3.1 lakh crore, the second tranche of the economic relief package included free food grains to the migrant workers across the country who have been amongst the worst-affected sections of the population from the economic tailspin caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
A total of 9 announcements were made in the second tranche, which included free food grains to migrant workers for 2 months, national portability of ration cards, which permitted people to take ration from any public distribution unit in the country.
Finance Minister Sitharaman on May 15 had announced the third tranche of package focusing on Agriculture and Allied Activities – fisheries, animal husbandry, dairy, etc.
The third tranche of the economic stimulus package saw the finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman allocating money for the Agricultural, Animal Husbandry and the ancillary sectors. A whopping Rs 1,00,000 crore was earmarked for bolstering the agricultural infrastructure in the country under Agri Infrastructure Fund.
The government also declared that the Essential Commodities Act will be amended to deregulate prices of cereals, edible oils, oilseeds, pulses, onions, potatoes etc. The stock limit imposed on processors or value chain participants or any exporter subject to export demand was also removed by the government.
Fourth and Fifth Tranche
The fourth and fifth tranche of the investment largely dealt with bringing about structural reforms. About Rs 40,000 crore allocation was added to the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act(MGNREGA) and about Rs 8,100 crore for Viability. Gap Funding.
While the five tranches of stimulus package announced by the government totalled Rs 11,02,650 lakh crore, the relief measures declared by the government including the earlier scheme of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) worth Rs 1,92,800 crore and the measures announced by the RBI to tackle the economic downturn as the country staggers under the economic shadow of the coronavirus lockdown.
The RBI package which is pegged at Rs 8,01,603 crore includes measures like a moratorium on loan repayments for all borrowers and interest rate cuts etc.
Despite the massive economic package worth Rs 20 lakh crore was announced by the Modi government to battle the economic downturn induced by the coronavirus outbreak, the Gandhi-scion Rahul Gandhi indulged in a blatant lie during his so-called discussions with Rajiv Bajaj. Shockingly, the industrialist did not even dare to correct the mischievous agenda of the Congress leader, but rather was encouraging Rahul Gandhi to make absurd claims on the issue of economic stimulus.