Arun Jaitley Calls Congress’ Minimum Income Promise A ‘Bluff’
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley described the poll promise of Congress President Rahul Gandhi to dole out Rs 72,000 each to poorest families every year as a “bluff announcement”, saying no other political party has misled India for more than seven decades.
Jaitley said the Congress has given to the people many slogans but very little resources to implement its election promises.
“If the Congress party’s announcement is tested on simple arithmetic, Rs 72,000 for five crore families works out to be Rs 3.6 lakh crore, which is less than two-third of what is being given (by the current government)—a bluff announcement,” Jaitley said in a blog post on Facebook.
Jaitley accused the opposition of sabotaging pro-poor initiatives of the National Democratic Alliance government. “If the Congress party and its friends have so much concern for the poor in India, why is it that its states are going slow in certifying the list of small and marginal farmers who are entitled to receiving the instalment of PM KISAN?” he wrote. “Why are some of the states such as West Bengal, Odisha and Delhi, among others, not implementing the Ayushman Bharat? What is the fault of their poor farmers that they want to make them pay?”
He said the Narendra Modi government has annually provided Rs 5.34 lakh crore to the poor by way of various schemes, subsidy transfers, Ayushman Bharat and PM Kisan initiative.
“The simple arithmetic of multiple bank transfers to the five crore poor families, the existing payment to which is mostly being done, the above averages Rs 1,06,800 annually against Rs 72,000 which the Congress now seeks to promise through the DBT (direct benefit transfer) mechanism,” Jaitley said.
The Congress party in Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Karnataka promised a loan waiver, which too was a bluff announcement as in most places the promises have remained unfulfilled, Jaitley said.
“The party, thus, has long legacy of slogans with no resources. It has a history of bluff announcements. Karnataka so far has spent only Rs 2,600 crore, Madhya Pradesh Rs 3,000 crore and Punjab Rs 5,500 crore. The farmers are still waiting,” he said.