Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 13
Congress leader P Chidambaram on Tuesday took a dig at Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman over her stimulus package announcements yesterday saying it was like digging a mountain and finding a mouse.
“The grand announcement yesterday was no stimulus package, it was another sly attempt to dazzle people with exaggerated numbers. It is also a candid confession that the earlier so-called Rs 20 lakh crore package was a massive failure,” former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said.
He said the numbers claimed this time too are a hoax.
The stimulus is not of a value of Rs 73,000 crore nor is it of the value of Rs 1,00,000 crore, Chidambaram said adding that the fiscal impact of these announcements is estimated by analysts to be 0.1 per cent of GDP.
Questioning the FM’s phrase ‘demand infusion’, Chidambaram said, “I wonder if such a phrase exists.”
He said the government is parenting people by telling them what to buy and what not.
He said the Rs 10,000 crore interest-free festival advance to government servants is not additional expenditure as it will be recovered in 10 monthly installments.
“The Rs 12,000 crore offered to the states is not a grant but a loan. The offer of a tax concession to 35 lakh Central government employees on LTC is a pathetic attempt to induce them to spend twice that amount out of their own money to gain a small benefit on tax,” he said lamenting that the most deserving people who need the money—the poor and the marginalised—have once again been left in the cold.