THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Covid-19 package by the Union government is highly disappointing, as there are no measures to support the poor, said state Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac. At a time when the country is going through such a situation, the Centre does not know what to do, he alleged.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s declarations have nothing that can actually deal with the crisis. “She simply extended the deadline to file IT returns and link Aadhaar with PAN card. There were a few relaxations for people with fixed income. When crores of daily wage labourers are worried, she has not addressed the same,” said Isaac.
He also criticised Sitharaman for ignoring the demands by the cooperative sector. In the present crisis, it was the cooperative sector that provided Rs 1,200 crore to the state government to distribute social security pensions. Now they will have to give 2 per cent interest just for that. That’s the way the Centre punishes the cooperative sector for supporting the state government.
Isaac said the state was expecting some kind of support on the demands put forth before the Centre. There are a number of issues that the state brought to the attention of the Centre, right from the time the present crisis began. These included effective distribution of foodgrains, hiking wages for MGNREGS workers and so on. But none of them were implemented, he added.