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”.
— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) March 20, 2020
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.
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.
Is now declaration of Economic Emergency becoming inevitable? Govt must put doubts at rest
— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) March 21, 2020
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.