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Subramanian Swamy writes to PM Modi over COVID-19, says economic relief package crucial

In the letter, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy listed steps announced by countries such as the US, UK, South Korea, to help their economies hit by COVID-19.

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New Delhi: BJP Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, collating measures announced by 17 countries and two central banks to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

In the letter, Swamy said the “package of economic relief is very crucial at this stage and that is why I have enclosed what the other countries have done for your information and appraisal”.


The letter, dated 20 March, comes at a time when PM Modi has announced the constitution of an economic response task force led by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to deal with the fallout of the COVID-19 crisis on the Indian economy.

The task force is yet to be constituted, although the finance ministry has started the consultative process with the Reserve Bank of India and other ministries to address the woes of the worst-hit sectors like aviation and hospitality, and micro, small and medium enterprises.

According to the latest official figures, 271 people have tested positive for coronavirus so far.

Also read: Subramanian Swamy: On economy, Modi relies on friends & ministers who don’t tell him truth

Content of the letter

Swamy has listed the measures taken by countries like the US, France, Germany, the UK, Japan, China and South Korea, and institutions like the International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank to fight the pandemic.

Many countries have announced massive economic rescue packages to prevent the onset of recession amidst a halt in economic activity and job losses across various sectors.

The steps announced by countries and listed by Swamy included the US’s decision to provide a bailout to the airlines industry and the $1,000 payouts to most citizens and sops to small businesses, France’s announcement of social security tax cuts and unemployment benefits, Japan’s and Canada’s loans to small businesses, Hong Kong’s $1,200 cash subsidy to permanent residents and South Korea’s package that provides funding for healthcare costs and support to small enterprises.

Swamy also tweeted Saturday morning, wondering if declaration of an economic emergency is inevitable.

Swamy, a known finance minister aspirant, has always been critical of the handling of the economy by PM Modi and Sitharaman.

Earlier this year, Swamy said that Modi does not understand economics and that the PM should make him the finance minister.

Swamy was also critical of former finance minister Arun Jaitley during his tenure and attacked him on several occasions.

Also read: ‘Why no autopsy on Gandhiji’s body’ — BJP MP Swamy calls for new probe into Mahatma killing

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  1. 1.When there is a crisis,leaders must take lead.Why not govt{Hon.Prime Minister} think of drastically reducing salary and perquisites of M.Ps,M.L.As and Ministers.Reduce the salary of bureaucrats {cash Payments to a maximum of Rs.1– 1.5 lakhs per month}and give the balance as bonds redeemable after 5 years with FD interest. It will enthuse the common man and they will whole heatedly participate in the projects implementation.
    Invest more in Rural development by ADOPTING Villages, Develop Khadi industry and exports,Create jobs by sincerely and seriously implementing “Skill development” programme and linking it “Make in India”.Entrust these to a competent technocrats and PMO to monitor quarterly basis.

  2. Why anyone doesn’t discuss about government and psu machinery that ultimately has to assemble and process all these economics and manufacture the final product? Have never found in them professionalism, definiteness of purpose, briskness or enthusiasm, but only laziness, corruption and dishonesty. Their numbers must be literally cut down to size and accountability established. Otherwise, the government and psu machinery, will continue to be gas guzzler as ever, happily feeding on the fuel taxes burdened on the common man.

  3. Subramanian Swamy is too much of a maverick to be a responsible FM. But, the citizens have very little confidence in the present FM to lead the country out of this quagamire. India’s economy is now between the Rock and Hard Place.

  4. Money does not grow on trees, as Dr Singh once pointed out. The US government is thinking of issuing 25 and 50 year bonds to pay for the proposed $ 1.3 trillion – it is bound to grow in size as the crisis unfolds – stimulus package. In India, beyond dealing with the aftermath of the 2008 GFC, there has been no calamity to justify running a consistent 8% combined fiscal deficit. The windfall gain from the fall in oil prices was swallowed without a gentle burp. Having been an economics professor in the ancient past, Dr Swamy should point out how this stimulus will be financed. Sagging growth means that normal tax buoyancy too has been crushed. Households save, the government splurges. People who tender advice need to think their thoughts through.

    • First things first, the last so-called tax reforms announced by the FM Nirmala Seetharaman was not really a tax reform, it was a tax hike to fill in a good pay check for the politicians who dont pay taxes.

      India should scrap the present multi point taxation system – Income Tax, GST, etc etc and replace it with a bank transaction tax system. CASH SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED BIG TIME. Fair Capitalism must be encouraged. Not the Capitalism controlled by politically linked companies. You will not need external funding. Wastages such as Hindi imposition, Politicians free trips, Freebie scheme must all be scrapped. India should have decentralisation model – Railways, Airlines, Airports, everything must be charged to the respective states. The money leakages will come down compared to the present centralized system.

      India’s economic downfall began with demonetisation and GST was the second blow, taxing dividends and buyback was the third blow. Coronavirus is now the fourth blow.

      At the end of all it, the government is still sleeping.

    • This govt needs help managing finances big time. By now there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that the present lot have no sense of finance at all. Left to themselves, all of us tax-paying folks will be left to do the heavy lifting (already petrol taxes are hitting the roof) and then these guys will be splurging on all their fancy schemes to build toilets and buy votes. This has to end NOW. Money has to be used judiciously without burdening tax-payers and businesses. No more fanciful vote buying subsidies. (And I am petrified by this talk of financial emergency. What does it mean?)

    • Well, the government does have money to buy so many Rafale jet fighters, nuclear submarines, aircraft carrier, and other =weapons from Israel for national security reasons. Threat to so many citizens lives due to coronavirus is also a matter of national security. It is highly unlikely that all this equipment would be used in near or even distant future. How about striking a balance, and divert some funds fro buying this military equipment to finance the stimulus proposed by Swami? Don’t lives of hundreds of thousands of most vulnerable poor citizens count? According to one estimate by a doctor in a likely exponential surge, there would be 1 crore severe cases in a two or three weeks time. How would the government deal with such a calamity without a stimulus package?

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