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Wednesday,08-December-2021

National News

Announce revised comprehensive fiscal stimulus: P. Chidambaram

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Former-Finance-Minister-P-Chidambaram

After the central government announced five tranches of the economic package, former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has expressed “thorough disappointment” and has requested the government to reconsider the stimulus package and announce a revised and comprehensive fiscal stimulus package.

Chidambaram said, “The Comprehensive Fiscal Stimulus Package of not less than Rs 10 lakh crore of real Additional Expenditure equivalent to 10 per cent of the GDP should be announced.”

“There can be no fiscal stimulus to the economy without Additional Expenditure over and above the Budgeted Expenditure,” added Chidambaram.

“In our view, a fiscal stimulus of Rs 1,86,650 crore amounting to barely 0.91 per cent of GDP will be totally inadequate given the gravity of the economic crisis and the dire situation in which people find themselves. Most analysts, rating agencies and banks have placed the size of the fiscal stimulus at between 0.8 to 1.5 per cent,” said Chidambaram.

He said, “We have carefully analyzed the contents of the five tranches. We have also looked into the analyses put out by various economists, experts, agencies and banks and the total package announced is Rs 1,86,650 with only Cash transfers, Rs 33,000 crore and free grain of Rs 60,000 crore.”

The former minister said the rest of the announcements included already budgeted expenditure, front loading of some budgeted expenditure, regulatory measures, a number of liquidity measures, medium to long term plans/schemes, and proposed reforms.

Chidambaram said that FM acknowledged that Additional Expenditure must be financed by Additional Borrowing. “The true value of the fiscal stimulus package will, therefore, be known when we know what is the Additional Borrowing in 2020-21 to finance the Additional Expenditure over and above the Expenditure Budget of Rs 30,42,230 crore. The truth cannot be hidden for long,” he said.

The Congress said that the fiscal stimulus package has left several sections high and dry, including the bottom half of the population (13 crore families) migrant workers farmers and landless. There is nothing for agricultural labour, daily wage non-agricultural labour, workers who have been laid off or retrenched in unorganized or unregistered businesses units who have lost their jobs, self-employed who have no work, 7 crore shopkeepers, lower middle class families who have run out of cash and are forced to borrow and 5.8 crore MSMEs.

National News

Sand mafia in Punjab worth Rs 20,000 crore: Kejriwal

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Arvind-Kejriwal

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said the sand mafia in Punjab alone runs illegal business of over Rs 20,000 crore.

There are serious allegations of direct involvement of ruling Congress MLAs, their ministers and their close associates, including the Chief Minister himself.

Kejriwal was responding to the queries of the media persons on his arrival at Sri Guru Ramdas Ji International Airport here. He was on a day-long visit to Punjab for participation in party programmes.

He said when allegations of involvement of the Congress MLAs and ministers, including the Chief Minister, in sand mafia and many other illegal activities are being levelled, then who will protect the interests of the general public?

“Who will save the interest of Punjab? To whom will the common people go for justice? Can the welfare of Punjab and the people of Punjab be expected from such mafia and patrons of mafia state?”

Kejriwal said earlier the Badals and the BJP had looted the state by patronizing all sorts of mafia during their regime.

In 2017, people expressed their faith in the promises made by the Congress and the Captain (Amarinder Singh), but they too followed the footsteps of the Badals.

He said according to an estimate, illegal trade of Rs 20,000 crore per annum in sand and gravel mining alone was going on in Punjab. This money can be used for the welfare of the people, but it is going into the pockets of the leaders instead of the government coffers.

Kejriwal promised that with the formation of the AAP government in 2022, all sorts of mafia, including illegal sand mining, would be shut down.

The money that is going into the pockets of political leaders from the resources of the state due to mafia rule will go to the needy pockets of mothers, sisters and the elderly.

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RS adjourned for the day amid Oppn ruckus

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Amid Opposition ruckus in the Rajya Sabha, no business could be conducted on Tuesday as the House was adjourned for the day.

After the proceedings began at 11 a.m., the House was first adjourned till 2 p.m. and then till 3 p.m. It was finally adjourned for the day as the discussion on the surrogacy bill started.

Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge raised the issue of the suspension of 12 MPs from the House and RJD MP Manoj Jha too raised a point of order, but was rejected by the Chair.

Environment Minister Bhupinder Yadav also raised a point of order that Congress leader Jairam Ramesh was speaking from other seat, and following sloganeering the deputy chairman adjourned the House for the day.

The faceoff continued with the Treasury Bench demanding an apology from the suspended protesting MPs which is bring denied as the opposition insist that they are not at fault.

“The suspension of the MPs is against Constitution as the incident is of previous session as the house was adjourned its wrong to suspend them in Winter session,” Kharge said.

Earlier, the opposition leaders, including Sharad Pawar, joined the protesting MPs and Kharge said that the opposition will join the MPs and observe fast for a day.

Kharge, floor leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and other Opposition MPs protested in support of the suspended MPs in front of the Gandhi statue in Parliament House.

The suspended MPs are Syed Naseer Hussain, Akhilesh Prasad Singh, Phulo Devi Netam, Chhaya Verma, Ripun Bora and Rajmani Patel of the Congress; Priyanka Chaturvedi, Anil Desai of the Shiv Sena; Elamaram Kareem of the CPI-M, Binoy Viswam of the CPI; and Dola Sen and Shanta Chhetri of the Trinamool Congress.

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Rahul Gandhi demands compensation for families dead farmers

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Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday demanded compensation for families of the farmers who lost their lives during the protests against the three farm laws which has now been withdrawn by the Central government.

Raising the issue during the Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha, Rahul Gandhi further said that around 700 farmers died during the protests and requested the Centre to pay compensation and give government jobs to the family members.

He also said that the Punjab government has already given financial assistance of Rs 5 lakhs to the families of the deceased and also provided jobs.

“I want the farmers to be given their rights, they should be given compensation as well as jobs, the Punjab government has given Rs 5 lakh compensation for around 400 farmers and also provided jobs for 152 of them,” he said.

The Congress MP also claimed that he had a list of the names of the dead farmers and will produce it in the House.

“We have made another list of 70 farmers from Haryana which I will also lay in the House,” he said.

“The Prime Minister apologised to the nation and the farmers. He also accepted that he made a mistake. On November 30, Agricultural Minister (Narendra Singh Tomar) was asked a question – how many farmers died in the agitation? He said he doesn’t have any data.”

Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi moved an adjournment motion notice in the Lok Sabha seeking compensation for the families of the dead farmers but was turned down by the Speaker.

The government in its earlier reply to a question, said that it has not kept track of farmers who lost their lives in the agitation and hence the question of compensation does not arise.

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