Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Derek O' Brien on Tuesday took a dig at Centre over the special economic package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation saying the devil is in the details and "that devil appears tomorrow or day after". In his address to the nation, Prime Minister Modi announced a special economic package to help various sections including MSMEs amid COVID-19 crisis.
He also said the Centre owes lots of money to states including West Bengal.
"We saw the box and wrapping papers today but we don't know what the product is. For that, we have to open the package tomorrow and day after. The Prime Minister said Rs 20 lakh crore is 10 per cent of GDP but some conditions apply as we saw no details. Is that really much? Because when they announce the relief package and when you look closely you saw the relief package was actually much less than what was actually stated," Derek O' Brien said.
"How is all going to be paid for? Borrowing. Where are the details for borrowing? If we borrow Rs 20 lakh crore what will happen to states and how will they borrow? No details. If you are going to raise taxes how are you going to raise this money? Are you going to print money or all these your old schemes which you have repackaged? We have to wait for details because the devil is in the details and that devil appears tomorrow or day after," he said.
Earlier today, it was also announced that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will address a press conference at 4 PM to provide the details of the economic relief package. Furthermore, he said the Centre owes Rs 61,000 crore to West Bengal and the money should be paid quickly due to coronavirus crisis.
"Talking about the payment to states, you owe Bengal Rs 61,000 crores. You owe states lots of GST. You have to be paying them very very quickly. We ask 3 per cent fiscal responsibility to up it to 5 per cent. Not mentioned. It's like an HR manager who offers you something in hand but your cost to the company is 10 times higher than what you get in hand," he said.
READ: Akhilesh Yadav unimpressed by PM Modi's speech; glosses over Rs 20 lakh crore package
Many of the opposition leaders came out in support of the Prime Ministers announcement of the financial package. Congress party on Tuesday offered a guarded welcome to PM Modi's announcement of a financial package worth Rs.20 lakh crore. While Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala claimed that the PM had failed to address the woes of migrant workers, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot lauded the package reserving further comment until the emergence of details in the public domain. Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel contended that the economic package should have been unveiled earlier. He too demanded more clarity on the components of the package. Rajya Sabha MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi opined that the relief package should account for an additional 10% of the GDP apart from the earlier COVID-19 measures implemented by the Centre.
In his address to the nation on Tuesday, PM Modi stated that the new financial package was worth 10% of India's GDP. However, the details of the package shall be announced by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday, May 13. PM Modi mentioned that this would benefit the workers, hawkers, street vendors, farmers, the business class, etc. The Prime Minister added that special emphasis has been paid to land, labour, liquidity, and laws.
Additionally, PM Modi appealed to the citizens to be 'vocal for local' in an attempt to boost Indian businesses. He elaborated that this not only involved buying local products but also promoting them with pride. PM Modi exuded confidence that the country shall follow this mantra.