'The new package is another gimmick to hoodwink the people'
GUWAHATI: The CITU (Centre of Indian Trade Unions) has alleged that the Rs 6.28 lakh crore stimulus package announced by Union Finance Minister (FM) Nirmala Sitharaman on June 28 is nothing but 'yet another gimmick to hoodwink the people'.
The CITU has argued that the measures announced by the FM would not provide much-needed relief to the crores of people whose livelihoods have been devastated by the second wave of COVID-19. It asserted that the package cannot help in reviving the economy.
"Much like the 'Atmanirbhar' package announced by this BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) government last year, during the first wave of COVID-19, this is also an exercise of deception. The focus of the package is mostly limited to extending loan guarantees and concessional credit. It provides nothing to offer to the around 2.2 crore workers who have lost their jobs and incomes between April-May 2021 during the second wave of the pandemic. It has nothing to provide succour to the 23 crore people, mostly unorganized sector workers who have been pushed to below the minimum wage poverty line during the same period. Many of the crores of workers who lost their jobs and incomes during the first wave have not been able to find work even to this day. A large part of them comprises women workers. This package has nothing for them," said CITU general secretary Tapan Sen.
The CITU stressed that the problem that the economy is facing today is due to a lack of demand.
"It is futile to think that extending loan guarantees or cheap loans would help revive the economy in conditions where there is no demand. What needs to be done today, and what the CITU and all other trade unions have been demanding since last year, is to put money into the pockets of the people to generate demand," said Sen.
It is to be noted that the joint trade union platform, eminent economists and the Left parties have been demanding cash transfer of Rs 7,500 to the non-income tax-paying families. However, Sen alleged that the BJP government, committed to 'fiscal obscurantism', has been 'obstinately refusing' to do that.
The CITU reiterated its demand for cash transfer of Rs 7,500 per month for six months for all non-income taxpaying families to generate demand that would trigger supply and revive the economy.