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Centre’s COVID-19 economic package has nothing for poor, hungry migrant workers: Chidambaram


New Delhi, May 13: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Wednesday said the Centre’s COVID-19 economic stimulus package had nothing for lakhs of poor and hungry migrant workers who have been walking to their homes, and expressed disappointment with the finance minister’s announcements.


Addressing a press conference through video conferencing, Chidambaram said the Centre has announced Rs 3 lakh crore of collateral-free loans for small businesses, but “where is the remaining Rs 16.4 lakh crore?” "Except for the modest MSME package, we are disappointed with today's announcements," he said.

"Where is the rest of the Rs 16.4 lakh crore? This government is a prisoner of its own ignorance and fears. The government must spend more, but it is not willing to do so. The government must borrow more, but it is not willing to do so. The government must allow states to borrow more and spend more, but it is not willing to do so," he said.

Chidambaram said the first thing the government needs to do is to put money in the hands of the 13-crore families in the bottom of the population that will cost the government only Rs 65,000 crore if Rs 5,000 is given to each family. He also called upon the government to address the issue sectorally and provide fiscal support to each sector.

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