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Why is govt silent on 'Gajak' culture: Cong counters 'Rewari' jibe

IANS | August 12, 2022 02:27 PM

NEW DELHI: The Congress on Friday attacked the Centre over the writing off loans amounting to Rs 10 lakh crore and termed it as the "Gajak culture".

Addressing a press conference on Friday Congress spokesperson Gaurav Vallabh said that based on the Food Security Act 2013, the BJP government distributed free ration to 80 crore citizens during the corona epidemic. Indirectly, the National Food Security Act also obliged the government to buy foodgrains from farmers at the Minimum Support Price (MSP).

"So if the distribution of foodgrains to 80 crore citizens (approximately 60 per cent of the population) and buying the same foodgrains from farmers at MSP is a free Rewari culture, then in the last 5 years Rs 9.92 lakh crore (about 10 lakh crore) was written off by the banks. Why is the government silent on this free Gajak culture?", he said.

Vallabh said, "Of the Rs 9.92 lakh crore loan written-off by banks in the last 5 years, Rs 7.27 lakh crore is the share of public sector banks. In the reply given in Parliament, the government admitted that in the last 5 years, out of the amount written off by the public sector banks, only Rs 1.03 lakh crore was recovered, public sector banks recovered 14 per cent of the amount written off in the last 5 years.

"If we also assume that the recovery from the written off loan will increase to 20 per cent in the coming time, the public sector banks have not recovered the loan of Rs 5.8 lakh crore. It is important here that if the debt of public sector banks sinks, then the money of the country's taxpayers sinks, " he said.

The Congress leader said, "If MNREGA is a free 'Rewari' for the government, then why not the reduction in the corporate tax rates announced by the government in 2019 is free Gajak? Net impact of the decrease in these corporate tax rates is Rs 1.45 lakh crore of less tax collection. This is twice the MGNREGA budget in the current financial year.

Vallabh said, "Why small amounts or assistance given to the poor are 'freebies' (Rewari), while the freebies that the rich friends get all the time through low tax rates, write-offs and exemptions are 'necessary incentives' (Gajak)?"

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