Oppn hits out at Govt as Lok Sabha takes up Supplementary Demands for Grants


Expressing concern over the state of the economy post the Covid-19 situation, Shashi Tharoor held demonetization responsible for weakening the economy….reports Asian Lite News

The Lok Sabha on Tuesday took up the Supplementary Demands for Grants, Second Batch for 2021-22 which includes a Rs 62,000 crore equity infusion into Air India, fertilizer and food subsidy and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.

Initiating the debate on the Supplementary Demands for Grants, Congress Member Shashi Tharoor said that this is not a “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan” era under this government, it is a “Na Jawan Na Kisan” era (Neither Jawan nor Kisan).

Expressing concern over the state of the economy post the Covid-19 situation, he held demonetization responsible for weakening the economy.

“We all praised the valiant efforts of our healthcare workers, the reality is that with the short sightedness of the policy decision of the government, the economy was ushered into uncertainty,” Tharoor added.

Bharatiya Janata Party lawmaker Nishikant Dubey while debating on the Grants, listed the achievements of the National Democratic Alliance government. He said that today Railways is competing with budget airlines as the Modi government brought the Railway Budget under the Financial Budget soon after it came to power and now every year the Railway Ministry is getting adequate funding for expansion of the rail infrastructure. During the last seven years, almost 90 percent of the electrification work of the Railways has been done and it will be 100 percent very soon. There is no dearth of funds and it is seen in the development of stations across the country.

He highlighted how Air India was destined to doom due to the bad policies of the earlier UPA government and it was also flagged in the Comptroller and Auditor General of India’s reports which said that merger of Air India and Indian Airlines was a bad move. The CAG report also listed how the so called bailout packages were given to Air India which ultimately proved to be sheer wastage of taxpayers’ money.

ADMK Member Dayanidhi Maran blamed the government for Air India’s loss. In over seven years, you were not able to make a PSU profitable, he charged. He also asked who the other bidders for Air India were during the auction.

Maran recalled how the “Give Up Subsidy” campaign for LPG cylinders was launched and now the subsidy on cooking gas is only Rs 12. Earlier only women cried while cooking, now the entire family cries, he added.

Claiming that the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) was a fraud, he said the haircuts taken by the financial creditors are unbelievable while the nationalised banks are facing losses but the Corporates are benefited by it.

The TMC’s Saugata Roy claimed that the government had begged the Tata group to takeover Air India and history will remember the Finance Minister as the biggest saleswoman.

YSR Congress Party Member Midhun Reddy while debating on the Appropriation (5) Bill 2021, took up the special category status for Andhra Pradesh. He said that bifurcation was the only issue where both the UPA and the NDA came together and split a State.

BSP lawmaker Ritesh Pandey said that the government is trying to hide the reality of the economy under the rosy picture of the stock market. He added that first demonetization and then the Covid-19 pandemic ruined the rural economy.

“We have seen how lakhs of workers were forced to trudge to their villages during the lockdown and when they reached their home now they have to buy fertilizers and other agricultural stuff at higher prices,”, Pandey said, adding that the funds for MNREGA have been reduced year by year.

He said that now India stands at the 100th position in the World Hunger Index while only Rs 5 is being spent on nutritional food for school children under the Mid Day Meal programme.

J&K’s NC Member Hasnain Masoodi charged that the government is propagating a fake narrative that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir has completely changed. The government says that the situation has substantially improved after the August 5, 2019 abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A but the reality can been seen in the attacks on the security forces in the Union Territory and the killings of civilians, he added.

He said that the local bodies elected Members are forced to stay under police protection and are not able to even meet their electorate.

Masoodi said that crores of rupees have been given to the Tatas but funds in MNREGA have been reduced for J&K. There are power cuts and no drinking water in the majority of the Union Territory despite the claim that tap drinking water connections have been provided under the Jal Jeevan Mission.

The debate remained inconclusive and will be taken up again on December 15.

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