Where is the outlay for health scheme, higher MSP: Congress

The Congress on Sunday asked the Centre "where is the outlay" for the health insurance scheme for 50 crore poor people and Kharif support prices higher than the cost of production.

Published: 04th February 2018 05:20 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th February 2018 05:21 PM   |  A+A-

Congress leader Anand Sharma had earlier called demonetisation as the scam of the century. | PTI File Photo

Congress leader Anand Sharma | PTI File Photo


CHANDIGARH: Hitting out at the Narendra Modi government for presenting a "disastrous" budget, the Congress today asked the Centre "where is the outlay" for the health insurance scheme for 50 crore poor people and Kharif support prices higher than the cost of production.

Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma accused the BJP-led government at the Centre of "failing" to deliver on employment and development, and said it cannot "befool" people all the time and would be "punished".

The former Union commerce minister also alleged that the government was misusing central agencies -- the CBI and the ED -- to defame and persecute its political opponents.

"In the budget, they are talking of (year) 2022. People voted them for one term which will end in a few months. When they say doubling farmers' income, then agriculture has to grow at minimum 12 per cent.

"Agriculture growth has fallen during the Modi government's rule from 4.5 per cent to 2 per cent. It (doubling farm income) is unimplementable," Sharma said here.

In the budget, the Centre has announced 'National Health Protection scheme' which would provide cover of up to Rs 5 lakh per family annually for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation to 10 crore poor and vulnerable families, or about 50 crore beneficiaries.

The government had also announced fixing minimum support price (MSP) at 150 per cent of the cost for all kharif crops this year.

Sharma alleged, "They (government) say we will give MSP one-and-a half times the cost of production. This was in their election manifesto. Have they delivered on it? They just made a budgetary announcement without providing for it in the budget. Where is the outlay? There is hardly any provision."

"Similarly, the so called world's biggest health care programme... we have been asking 10 crore of Indian families be given the cover of Rs 5 lakh. Even assuming that one tenth will need it, where will premium come from. Where is the provision in the budget. It is unimplementable," the Congress leader said.

Accusing the BJP government of "ruining" the economy, Sharma claimed that the government had also failed to deliver on development and employment.

"The Prime Minister and the government have failed to deliver on the promises made to the people. They lost the trust. The PM is known only for using words and not delivering. India's economy is in shambles. All fundamentals of the economy are down or weak," he alleged.

The deputy leader of opposition in the Upper House also accused the government of not passing on the benefit of low crude oil prices to consumers.

"They (government) have not brought petroleum products under GST, which has been our advice," he said.

Sharma claimed there had been a "massive" job loss and closure of small factories because of demonetisation and "flawed" implementation of the GST.

Alleging that the government targeted Congress leaders by abusing power and authority, he claimed, "They are misusing central agencies CBI and ED to defame and persecute political opponents."

On filing of charge-sheet by the CBI against former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda in Manesar land deal case, Sharma said, "Hooda is a popular and strong leader and he brought unprecedented growth and development to Haryana. They (BJP) are on shaky ground. They are nervous and that is why they targeted Congress leaders."

"The Manohar Lal Khattar government is so unpopular that if elections are held today, they (BJP) will be wiped out," he claimed.

On winning bypolls in Rajasthan, Sharma said, "It is very clear that people have seen that what they (BJP) were saying about Congress and their leadership was false, spreading canards."

"This is their last year in office... Their allies are also jumping out of the sinking ship. People are mature and they have the wisdom to see through their designs and they will punish them," he said. 

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