File photo: Former finance minister P Chidambaram.(Mohd Zakir/HT PHOTO)
File photo: Former finance minister P Chidambaram.(Mohd Zakir/HT PHOTO)

‘PM gave a headline and a blank page’: Chidambaram on Rs 20 lakh cr Covid-19 economic package

Chidambaram said that he looks forward to learning the details of the stimulus package which will be made public by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Sparshita Saxena
UPDATED ON MAY 13, 2020 11:11 AM IST

Former finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Wednesday reacted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of releasing Rs 20 lakh crore as an economic stimulus package for the country amid the coronavirus crisis.

The Congress leader said that in yesterday’s announcement, the prime minister gave a “headline” and a “blank page”. Chidambaram said that he looks forward to learning the details of the stimulus package which will be made public by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

“Yesterday, PM gave us a headline and a blank page. Naturally, my reaction was a blank!” Chidambaram tweeted.

On Tuesday, the prime minister said the details of the economic package will be made public by the finance minister in the coming days. “Starting tomorrow, over the next few days, the Finance Minister will give you detailed information about this economic package inspired by the ‘Self-reliant India campaign’,” the PM said.

Also read: Stimulus may offer cash aid to poor, credit for industry

Chidambaram added that every “additional rupee that the government will actually infuse into the economy” will be carefully counted. What the package offers to the poor, migrants workers will also be carefully examined, Chidambaram said.

“We will also carefully examine who gets what? And the first thing we will look for is what the poor, hungry and devastated migrant workers can expect after they have walked hundreds of kilometres to their home states,” he tweeted.

Earlier this week, Chidambaram welcomed Centre’s move to start operating some passenger trains from May 12 amid the coronavirus lockdown. “The same modest opening should be started with road transport and air transport,” Chidambaram said in a tweet.

PM Modi, in his address to the nation on Tuesday, said that the stimulus package is roughly around 10% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and will infuse vigour into the economy amid the Covid-19 crisis. PM’s announcement came a day after his marathon meet via video-conferencing with various chief ministers on the prevailing coronavirus situation in the country.

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