Priyanka Gandhi slams govt over ‘rising debt’


PTI, Mar 30, 2024, 10:27 AM IST

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra slammed the BJP-led Centre on Saturday over its proposal to borrow more than Rs 14 lakh crore, asking why is the government ”drowning the people in debt” when instead of relief being provided to them, the ”burden of unemployment, inflation and economic crisis” is increasing.

In her budget speech last month, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed to borrow Rs 14.13 lakh crore by issuing dated securities to meet a revenue shortfall in the next financial year starting April 1.

In a post in Hindi on X, Gandhi said: ”The finance ministry stated that the government is going to borrow more than Rs 14 lakh crore in the current financial year. Why?” In the 67 years since independence till 2014, the country’s total debt was Rs 55 lakh crore, the Congress general secretary said while pointing out that in the last 10 years, the Narendra Modi government increased it to Rs 205 lakh crore.

The Modi government has borrowed about Rs 150 lakh crore in the last 10 years, she claimed.

”Today, every citizen of the country has an average debt of about Rs 1.5 lakh. For which aspect of nation building was this money used?” Gandhi asked on the microblogging platform.

Were jobs created on a large scale or did jobs actually disappear, she asked further.

”Has the income of farmers doubled? Are schools and hospitals given a facelift? Has the public sector been strengthened or weakened? Have big factories and industries been set up?” Gandhi asked.

If this has not happened, if the core sectors of the economy are seen to be in a state of disrepair, if the labour force has declined, if small and medium businesses have been destroyed,“ then where has this money gone, the Congress leader asked.

”On whom was it spent? How much money was written off in this? How much money was spent on loan waivers for big billionaires?” she asked further.

”Now, when the Centre is preparing to borrow, the question arises that why is the BJP government drowning the people in debt when instead of providing relief to them, the burden of unemployment, inflation and economic crisis kept on increasing in the last 10 years,” Gandhi said.

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