Amid an intensifying debate over freebies handed out by political parties to woo voters, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday stressed that the current government’s approach has been to empower people through the “saturation of existing schemes” rather than handing out mere entitlements.
She also asserted that the government is pursuing all the cases involving absconding economic offenders, who have fled the country after cheating banks. Their properties are being auctioned and money is being given back to the lenders, she added.
Speaking at the launch of the 100th edition of the Economic Newsletter of the BJP’s Karnataka unit in Bengaluru, the minister explained the Modi government’s approach: “You launch something (scheme), it reaches a certain number of people but there are more people who are eligible to get that. If you reach all who are eligible, then you achieve saturation…. Under Prime Minister Modi, we attain saturation in each case.
”Saturation, she said, is an indicator of empowerment. In contrast, extending mere entitlements may mean the government doesn’t really respect the beneficiary’s own ability to make his own destiny.
“Every Indian citizen deserves to have access to basic facilities without being beholden to anybody. Our approach is one of empowerment through saturation of existing schemes rather than that of entitlement,” the minister added.