Migrant workers need immediate cash transfer, not loans: Rahul asks PM Modi to reconsider COVID package
Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi said that he is disappointed by the Central Government’s COVID-19 economic response package. He urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reconsider the COVID package and consider direct cash transfers.
“Narendra Modi should reconsider the (COVID) package and should give direct cash transfer to the bank accounts of migrant workers, farmers,” Rahul Gandhi said while addressing a digital press conference. He further urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to consider offering 200 days of MNREGA work.
The former Congress president expressed displeasure with the Central Government’s COVID economic response package. He said that the migrant workers, who are walking hundreds of kilometres on foot to return to their homes, need immediate cash transfers and not loans.
“When a mother helps out her children economically, it is out of love. And because the children are the future of their parents. It is heartbreaking to see millions of our people walking on the highways, with no food, no water. They are India’s future,” he said, while pressing the need to release direct funds to the migrant workers. “They are the ones who have built India.”
The former Congress president also said that the Modi government shouldn’t be worried about the international rating agencies.
“If we don’t support our farmers, migrants and small businesses now, our economy wouldn’t start. And if our economy doesn’t start, the question of ratings doesn’t arise,” Gandhi said.
He again urged the Modi government to temporarily adopt the NYAY scheme – direct cash transfers to the poor families of the nation. The scheme was ideated in the run-up to the 2019 general elections.
Gandhi expressed concerns over migrant workers being killed in accidents across the country while returning to their native states.
The Narendra Modi government has begun to roll out the Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package to fight the economic fallout of the COVID-19 induced lockdown. So far the government has announced packages for businesses including the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME), migrant workers, and the farming sector.
However, critics are questioning the government’s decision to choose the long term agendas instead of providing immediate relief to the poor, migrants, and farmers. Opposition parties have been demanding that the Centre release direct cash transfers to crores of workers who have been forced out of their jobs due to COVID, as well as the farmers.