Hyderabad: Amid the ongoing debate on freebies culture, Telangana Minister KT Rama Rao on Saturday hit out at the Centre stating that the Narendra Modi-led BJP government has completely ignored the welfare of the people and now started the debate on freebies to make the lives of the common man “more miserable”.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been talking about freebie culture whenever he gets an opportunity. It is very surprising to hear his words. The BJP government at the Centre has completely ignored the welfare of the people during its eight-year rule and burdened the life of the common man. The Modi Government has now started the debate on freebies to make the lives of the common man more miserable,” said KTR.
Slamming the Modi government for imposing Goods and Services Tax (GST), Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) working president said, “The Modi government is imposing GST on essential items like milk and curd. The ever-increasing inflation has broken the back of the poor.”
He further claimed during eight years of Modi’s rule, poverty in the country has increased so much that now we are infamous for having more poor people than that Nigeria.
“India now ranks at 101st place among 116 countries in the Global Hunger Index – which is a matter of national shame. The statistics released by the Centre make it clear that 35.5 per cent of the children born in the country are malnourished,” he said.
KTR said that the 14 Prime Ministers before Modi together were responsible for the country’s debt of Rs 56 lakh crores whereas Modi’s government alone borrowed more than Rs 80 lakh crores. Recently, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) issued a severe warning that 37 per cent of the country’s annual income is being spent on paying interest for the money borrowed by the Central government, he claimed.
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Attacks Government for ‘Economic downfall’
According to the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act, the Central government should not borrow more than 40 per cent of the GDP, but the Modi government has already incurred 54 per cent of its debt, the CAG reported. He said that the CAG has warned that if the situation continues like this, there is a risk of “collapse of the country’s economy.”
“Central government brings lakhs of crores as debt but does not do any useful work with it. At the same time, if the state governments come up with any schemes for the welfare of the poor, they are the ones who spew venom on the schemes labelling them freebies,” said the Telangana Minister. He further said that India is a “welfare state” as written in our Constitution.
“I would like to remind the Prime Minister that India is a “welfare state” as written in our Constitution. The Directive Principles in the Constitution of India assure the citizens that the Government shall always work for the welfare of the people providing them social justice,” he said.
Welfare schemes ‘hollow’
According to the Directive Principles, the Government of India should provide an equal livelihood to all its citizens without discrimination on gender, religion, caste, creed, or economic status. But, it is a bitter truth that in 75 years of independent India, our country is far behind in the implementation of these directive principles, he said. Highlighting some of the welfare schemes of the TRS government like free electricity, Rythu Bandhu, and Rythu Bima for farmers, the minister asked whether PM Modi is against them.
“PM Modi, do you say that states should not provide schemes like free electricity, Rythu Bandhu, and Rythu Bima which are being given to the farmers who have been exposed to nature’s wrath for decades? Don’t these initiatives provide succour to the distressed farming community? Anti-farmer decisions of your government such as ‘big cut in fertilisers subsidy’ worries the country’s farmers. It is too much to expect the government that brought in the draconian anti-farmer laws to know the meaning of farmer’s welfare,” he said.
The State Minister sought to know why the Prime Minister was against supplying one kg of rice for a rupee to BC, SC, ST and minority communities, which were the poorest. The Prime Minister was against providing free meals in schools, the establishment of Gurukul schools and free food and accommodation for poor children, he said. Naming some of the schemes of the Telangana government like Arogya Laxmi, Amma Odi – 102 Vehicles, KCR Kit, and Mission Bhageeratha, he asked why the Prime Minister consider these schemes a waste of money.
“PM Modi, your disdain for the textile sector, which provides employment to the largest number of people in the country after agriculture is very unfortunate. Why do you name our schemes like Netannaku Cheyutha, Nethannaku Beema, and Bathukamma Sarees as freebie culture? Prime Minister, are you of the opinion that there is no need for the Dalit Bandhu scheme brought for the upliftment of the downtrodden that have been discriminated against for thousands of years? PM Modi, do you want to stop our schemes like Kalyana Lakshmi, and Shadi Mubarak which are a blessing to the poor parents to perform the wedding of their daughters,” he asked.
KTR asked whether the BJP ruled States would cancel all the welfare schemes. Will, there be a law or a constitutional amendment in the Parliament to cancel all the welfare schemes that were being implemented by various States and the Central Government, he asked.
He asked will there be a law or a constitutional amendment in the parliament to cancel all the welfare schemes that are being implemented by various states and the central government. “The country is celebrating its 75 years of Independence day. After hoisting the tricolour on the Red Fort, in your address to the nation, I hope you will make your stand clear on the schemes undertaken for the welfare of the poor,” he added.