New Delhi: A day after the Narendra Modi-led central government announced a decorative economic stimulus package to recover the losses India is facing amid the coronavirus lockdown, Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi questioned over the criteria on which the Centre was planning. Also Read - 'Will Defeat Coronavirus Under CM Thackeray's Leadership': Maharashtra Minister Raut Slams Centre, BJP | Watch
“What after May 17? And After May 17th, How? What criteria is the government using to judge how long the lockdown will continue,” asked Sonia Gandhi as an opening remark during a video-conferencing session with the chief ministers of party-run states. Also Read - '60 Flip-Flops in 60 Days': Congress Leader Sanjay Nirupam Targets Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi as well as senior party leader P Chidambaram were also part of the meeting held through video-conferencing. Also Read - Rahul Gandhi Distances Congress From Coronavirus in Maharashtra, Says 'We're Not Key Decision-Makers There'
The Modi government has come up with a Rs 1.7 lakh crore package for the poor, farmers, women and senior citizens who have suffered during the pandemic. Additionally, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has come up with a monetary policy to ease out the losses suffered by businesses.
“We need to know, as Soniaji said, what will happen after lockdown 3.0,” asked former PM and finance minister Manmohan Singh, adding that CMs of all states need to deliberate on the missing details and ask what the Centre’s strategy is.
Meanwhile, Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said that states are bleeding in terms of finances but the Centre is allocating no money to them, despite the lumpsum donations it has received. “The media too has brought out the unavailability of finances with states,” he said.
“Until extensive stimulus package is given, how will states and the country run? We have lost Rs 10,000 crore revenue,” Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot pointed out.
Earlier on Monday, Sonia Gandhi had announced that the Congress was willing to pay for the train fare of migrants as they prepare to go back to their homes. She also criticised the central government for charging them train fare. However, the Railways had clarified saying they were charging the states, not the travellers.