‘Isn’t India already self-reliant?’ Shiv Sena takes a jibe at PM Modi’s special economic package

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Updated: May 14, 2020 12:58 PM

An editorial in Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' wondered how Rs 20 lakh crore will be raised, and opined that an environment needs to be created where industrialists, trade and business sectors are encouraged to invest.

Shiv Sena supremo and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. (File)

The Shiv Sena on Thursday raised questions over the Centre’s Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package announced to revive the COVID-hit economy, and asked if India is not a “self-reliant” country at present.

An editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ wondered how Rs 20 lakh crore will be raised, and opined that an environment needs to be created where industrialists, trade and business sectors are encouraged to invest.

On the path of new self-reliance, India cannot afford industrialists running away, and for that “political institutions like the ED and CBI need to be put in lockdown for some time,” it said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced new financial incentives on top of the previously announced packages for a combined stimulus of Rs 20 lakh crore, saying the COVID-19 crisis has provided India an opportunity to become self-reliant and emerge as the best in the world.

The Sena said the country is being told that the package will be beneficial for MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises), poor labourers, farmers and the tax-paying middle class.

“The package (as per the Centre) will reach 130 crore Indians and the country will become self-reliant. Does this mean India is not a self-reliant country at present?” the Marathi daily asked.

It is good that PPE kits and N95 masks are now being manufactured in India, it said.

“Any country progresses ahead while learning from crisis and through struggle. Before Independence, not even a needle was manufactured in India but in 60 years, India became self-reliant in science, technology, agro business, defence, manufacturing and atomic science,” it said.

An institution like the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), which is helping in the manufacturing of PPE kits, is part of the self-reliant India, it noted.

Wondering how Rs 20 lakh crore, as announced in the central package, will be raised, the Sena said an “environment needs to be created where industrialists, trade and business sectors will be encouraged to invest”.

“India, on path of new self-reliance, cannot afford industrialists running away, and for that political institutions like the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) need to be put in lockdown for some time,” the paper said.

Despite announcing the ‘lockdown-4’ and the economic package, why its impact has not been reflected in the share market? it asked.

“Investors are in a dilemma. The prime minister and chief ministers must show them trust and support,” it said.

“Earlier it was Pandit Nehru and now it is Modi. If (former prime minister) Rajiv Gandhi had not laid the foundation of a digital India,there wouldn’t be video conference of PM, CMs and bureaucracy in times of coronavirus,” the Uddhav Thackeray-led party said.

It agreed with Modi that coronavirus will stay for long, and lives need not revolve around it. “We need to get back on our feet again,” the Sena said.

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