Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Monday took a sharp jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his government’s decision to raise the yearly allocation to the rural employment guarantee scheme MGNREGA. Sharing an old video clip in which the PM is calling the scheme a living monument of the Congress’s failures, Mr Gandhi said they are grateful to him for understanding the “foresight” behind it.
“The Prime Minister has approved increasing by 40,000 crore allocation for the MNREGA scheme, which was started in the UPA era. We are grateful to him for understanding the foresight behind launching the scheme,” he tweeted.
प्रधानमंत्री ने UPA काल में सृजित MNREGA स्कीम के लिए 40,000 करोड़ का अतिरिक्त बजट देने की मंज़ूरी दी है। MNREGA की दूरदर्शिता को समझने और उसे बढ़ावा देने के लिए हम उनके प्रति आभार प्रकट करते हैं।#ModiUturnOnMNREGApic.twitter.com/XMOmhXhVeD
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) May 18, 2020
On Sunday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled the fifth and final tranche of the Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package, which was announced by PM Modi last week to cushion the economic damage the coronavirus pandemic has been causing.
She announced a big boost in spending on the MNREGA scheme, an upped borrowing limit for states, more relaxations for private players and big changes for health and education sectors.
The scheme, which guarantees 100 days of work for people living in rural areas, was launched by the UPA-2 government. PM Modi, in an address to parliament in 2015, had criticised the Congress over it.
The Congress today called the stimulus “hopelessly inadequate”, and said it amounts to only 0.91 per cent of the gross domestic product.
“In our view, a fiscal stimulus of Rs 1,86,650 crore amounting to barely 0.91 per cent of GDP will be totally inadequate given the gravity of the economic crisis and the dire situation in which people find themselves,” Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said.
The ruling BJP, however, said the decision will boost employment in rural areas.
“With the announcement of additional allocation Rs 40,000 crore highest-ever allocation of Rs 1 lakh crore has been made to MGNREGA, this will boost employment opportunities in rural areas and will be a big relief to returning migrant labourers,” Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Sunday.