Speaking exclusively with Republic TV's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami on Wednesday, Union Information & Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar explained the benefits of the 15 measures of the economic package announced by the Centre. Maintaining that this was just the beginning of the package, he revealed that the full extent of the benefits shall be known in the coming few days. Citing the announcement of Rs.3 lakh crore collateral-free loans for MSMEs, Rs.20,000 crore for stressed MSMEs and Rs.50,000 crore Fund of Funds for equity of viable MSMEs, Javadekar opined that the "huge package" shall take care of MSMEs, employers, middle class etc.
Commenting on the opposition's pessimism over the implementation of the overall package worth Rs.20 lakh crore, Prakash Javadekar remarked, "My response is that yes, this is the government that will implement everything. We declared Rs.1,70,000 crore when the COVID-19 crisis began and all money has been distributed to the right hands in their accounts. Foodgrains have reached the houses. All the aid which was promised has gone to the right people. Now, the opposition must at least wait for 4 days because today is not the end of the package. It is just the beginning. Today, if you see out of Rs.20 lakh crore, Rs.6 lakh crore has been already committed today. The vision is Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India), 'Become vocal for local' and so many reforms in law, land, labour- so, all these things are very important. Today, they have given Rs.3 lakh crore collateral-free loans for MSMEs, but more important is Rs.20,000 crore for stressed MSMEs and Rs.50,000 crore Fund of Funds for equity of viable MSMEs. It is a huge package. Today, they have taken care of MSMEs, employers, middle class."
The Union I&B Minister added that the middle class would gain a lot from the package because of the extension for the time to file Income Tax returns and a 25% cut in TDS. He maintained that the middle class was with PM Modi because of the good management of the country. Javadekar also hit out at the opposition for indulging in politics over the problems faced by migrant workers.
"The extension for time to file returns gives you liquidity for three-four months. More importantly, 25% cut in TDS gives you a benefit of Rs.50,000 crore. EPF benefit instead of 12% is now 10%. This is a part of the package. The middle class expects good management of the country, good law and order and that is what Modiji offers. That is why the country is behind him. The way we have fought COVID is better than many of the advanced economies also," Javadekar said on the benefits to the middle class.
Lashing out at the opposition, the Union I&B Minister observed, "The opposition doesn't understand what they are talking about. I saw that Kamal Nath is demanding 50% of GDP to be the package. GDP is not in the government's coffers. When trains were given for the migrant workers, they said that there were no buses. When buses were given, now they are showing workers on foot from March. Rahul Gandhi was demanding Rs.65,000 crore, this is a Rs.20 lakh crore package."