New Delhi: The Congress on Saturday slammed Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman over her remarks on former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, describing him as a "doomsday man" for India by constantly insulting constitutional functionaries and creating fake narratives on various issues. The party said that she is an angry Minister who has ruined the economy.
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Leader of the Congress Party in the Lok Sabha said, "She is not Finance Minister but is an angry minister. She is dangerous for the Indian economy. She along with Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) has ruined the economy of the country and their only motto is 'Hum do, hamare do'.
Lashing out at the Finance Minister, Chowdhury said that the allegations made by the Congress are not baseless.
He said as per the report of Oxfam, we want to ask the Finance Minister "How does she explain that the lockdown made India's billionaires 35 per cent richer, while 84 per cent of households' income suffered a loss and 1.7 lakh people lost their jobs every hour in April, 2020 alone."
Firing salvos at Sitharaman, he said, "How does she explain the income increase for India's top 100 billionaires since March 2020, which was enough to give each of the 13.8 crore poorest people a cheque of over Rs 94,000 each? Finance Minister's misplaced priorities include tax concession for corporates in financial year 2019-20 that amounted to over Rs 1.4 lakh crores. Instead of creating jobs, they used money for trimming up their balance sheets."
The Congress leader stated that in 2018-19 banks wrote off about Rs 2.38 lakh crore in non-performing assets, which are mostly loans defaulted by corporates, but the Finance Minister will scorn at every given opportunity if the issue of waiving off the loans of farmers arises.
Chowdhury asked how she could explain reducing the outlay for agriculture from Rs 1.54 lakh crores in the previous budget to Rs 1.48 lakh crores in this budget, a cut of 6 per cent.
"It has been reduced from 5.1 per cent to 4.3 per cent of overall budget. What could be the possible explanation for slashing the MGNREGA fund in her budget? The allocation to MGNREGA has been cut from Rs 1.66 lakh crores this year to Rs 96,773 crores in 2021, a cut of around 42 per cent. Petroleum subsidy, each and everybody in our country has been suffering financially because of the unprecedented hike in petroleum products prices. The petroleum subsidy, which goes to the subsidies for LPG and Kerosene, drastically cut by 68 per cent, to Rs. 4,091 crores, from Rs. 12,995 crores."
He said that everyone is aware how the prices of petrol, diesel and LPG have gone up in the last few years.
He said, "They are getting rattled when these pertinent issues are being raised by our party men, our party leaders. Instead of delivering the appropriate answer to our queries, questions etc, the government in general and today, the Finance Minister in particular, has been hurling derogatory remarks at our party leader Rahul Gandhiji. So, this is the government which does not honour the leaders and workers of the opposition party. By riding roughshod over the opposition questions, they (the Government) have been trampling each and every demand of our party and the common people in general across the nation."
He added that it was the reason why the Congress thought it fit to at least draw attention that the economy of our country has been in a sorry stage, unemployment sector has registered a dismal scenario overall, across the country we are witnessing an unprecedented downturn in each and every sector.
On a question about the comment made by Nirmala Sitharaman on Rahul Gandhi's slogan, 'Hum Do, Humare Do', Chowdhury said, "Immediately we stood up there and objected to the comments of Sitharaman and even exhorted her that being the Finance Minister of India, she should not indulge in such kind of unparliamentary activities inside the house. So, immediately we took serious exception to the comments made by Finance Minister."
(From IANS with minor edits)