Govt's 'jumla package' way short of what PM had promised: Congress

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Congress on Thursday said the government’s economic package has so far fallen way short of what the prime minister had promised the nation and dubbed it as a “jumla package”.

“Except for the modest MSME (micro, small & medium enterprises) package, we are disappointed with the announcement,” said former Finance Minister P Chidambaram.

“There is also nothing by the way of cash transfer for the bottom half of the population (13 crore families) who have been pushed into destitution. Only on Tuesday, Thomas Pikketty pleaded for cash transfer to the poor,” Chidambaram said.

Chidambaram said the bulk of the 6.3 crore MSMEs has been left high and dry. We welcome the offer of subordinate debt (Rs 20,000 crore) and equity corpus fund (Rs 10,000 crore). But we will await their terms and conditions. The devil is in the detail,” the Congress leader said.

Senior spokesperson Anand Sharma said the country believed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was serious when he made the “dramatic” announcement of giving 10 per cent of the GDP as a package to revive the economy and support workers and migrant labourers, and that expectations had soared.

Congress’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman’s announcements were nothing but a “jumla package”.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari pointed out that the finance minister articulated the second tranche of the bailout or economic package that this government has conceptualised. “It is unfortunate that the entire press conference (of Sitharaman) was a classic display of arrogance, ignorance and insensitivity,” he said addressing reporters via a video link.