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Mamata calls Modi's mega Rs 20 trillion package a 'big zero and eyewash'

West Bengal CM says extension of the deadline to file tax return is not a benefit as people are under lockdown and in any case they cannot meet the earlier deadline

Mamata Banerjee | Economic stimulus | economic growth in india

Avishek Rakshit  |  Kolkata 

Mamata Banerjee
Banerjee said public spending on infrastructure needs a boost to revive the economy

Terming the Central package of Rs 20 trillion as a “big zero and an eyewash”, West Bengal’s chief minister, condemned the Modi government for allegedly misleading people even in times of the pandemic.

“When prime minister Modi announced the package, I was optimist but then figured out it is a big zero and is misleading people. People don’t get any monetary support, the states didn’t get anything, there is no public spending to boost the economy or no indication of boosting the health infrastructure was mentioned either,” Banerjee said.

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She contended that already Rs 10 trillion spending has been mentioned and was included in the Rs 20 trillion package. She contended that the package is actually only worth Rs 4.2 trillion, or around two per cent of GDP.

“From West Bengal alone, we give Rs 90,000 crore to MSMEs every year and just think how many states are there in the country. The Centre’s announcement for MSMEs is actually an eyewash. We condemn it,” she said.

Over the relaxation given on income tax filing, Banerjee said people mustn’t regard it as a benefit. “If people aren’t able to go outside because of lockdown, from where are they going to file returns? It is nothing.”

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Banerjee said public spending on infrastructure needs a boost to revive the economy.

The West Bengal government has decided to construct one million houses in rural areas to boost public spending which is expected to create more jobs and generate demand. Besides, it is also undertaking a project whereby 50,000 acres of barren land in the state will be converted into income-generating land by promoting pisciculture, horticulture, animal husbandry and other activities. Another Rs. 5,000 crore is being spent to improve irrigational facilities.

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Banerjee furthered that instead of touting about Make in India, the Centre needs to implement the concept in reality.

First Published: Wed, May 13 2020. 20:32 IST