FM dismisses critics of package, says idea is to empower beneficiaries, not offer entitlements
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman
NEW DELHI: The government on Friday hit out at the opposition and its critics saying it had not included tax refunds in the Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package and said it was not alone in combining liquidity enhancement measures along with fiscal steps which account for 10% of GDP.
FM Nirmala Sitharaman also said the government has been reviewing the pending payments to MSME units and asked government departments and public sector companies to release funds and the dues did not add up to Rs 5 lakh crore.
Expenditure secretary TV Somanathan said at the end of March, pending dues of such units from central government departments such as defence and railways and top central PSUs was under Rs 10,000 crore.
Many analysts and opposition leaders have criticised the governments package for offering little through budgetary allocation and instead using guarantees to push bank loans and similar steps.
“Packages of most countries are a combination of actual fiscal outgo and liquidity provision… One country that gave out what is called a 15% (of GDP) package which a lot of people talk about. Please look at it, 14.9% of it was liquidity. So, it is not as if only one part of a package is counted,” Somanathan told reporters, adding that every country is counting it this way.
“Some have counted something, left out something, but it is not as if it is only we who are counting this way. This is in fact the way most of the countries are counting it,” he added.
Sitharaman said the idea of the packages was to empower the beneficiaries, and not offer entitlements – a key philosophy of the Read More – Source