New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday responded to criticism of the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ economic relief package, saying that the package was announced only after comparing it with packages announced by different countries. Also Read - 'With Folded Hands...': Nirmala Sitharaman's Appeal to Sonia Gandhi on Migrant Crisis
Addressing an interaction through video conferencing, the Finance Minister said, “Before doing this we’ve compared every announcement made by different countries before us to see what their package consisted of. All that has been studied. Every country has brought in basket of measures-fiscal, monetary, guarantee, central liquidty and so on.” Also Read - Rs 20 Lakh Crore: Nirmala Sitharaman Provides Details of Atmanirbhar Bharat Package | Check Out
“To think that all other countries have come up with only outgo from budget and not as though they’ve underplayed everything else they’ve done. On the contrary, they have also gone into liquidity being infused both through central bank and through their own guarantee and other things,” the minister added. Also Read - Nirmala Sitharaman Day 5 Announcements: Focus on Resumption of Businesses Once Lockdown Gets Lifted | 7 Steps
Remarking that India was not at at all different from them (the other countries), she, however, also acknowledged that the proportion might vary. She further said that when developed countries have certain institutions, it is possible for them to ‘go through one route and play less on the other route.’
“India has great advantage in terms of technology, transfer of cash and other things are possible. That’s how through PM Garib Kalyan, we could infuse cash into hands of people through their Jan Dhan accounts. We’ve come with measures which will get more liquidity into economy,” the Finance Minister concluded.
Notably, the Rs 20 lakh crore ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ (Self-Reliant India Mission) was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an address to the nation Tuesday night last week. The package, the Prime Minister said, would be 10% of the country’s GDP.
It’s details were laid out by FM Sitharaman in press conferences over the next five days; last Sunday’s press conference was the final one in this regard.
However, the package has come under fire from different quarters, with several critics, including former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, pointing out that several announcements were already made in the Union Budget on February 1.