Hard to estimate the exact damage of coronavirus to the Indian economy right now: Nirmala Sitharaman

Union Finance Minister said on Friday that it was hard as of now to gauge the extent of the economic damage of the coronavirus pandemic to the Indian economy, adding that it would only be ascertained definitely once the “uncertainty” went away. The remarks by Sitharaman came during an exclusive interview with India TV.

During her interaction, Sitharaman was particularly critical of the opposition, noting that Congress had a flawed record marred by corruption allegations in launching grassroots level schemes which they now want themselves to be implemented. 

“Congress party is expert at launching schemes, but it can’t correct mistakes and corruption that takes place during implementation,” said Sitharaman.

“Congress leader Rahul Gandhi should first try to speak with states ruled by his own party and then think of offering advice to Central Government,” said the finance minister, as she pointed out that “rampant corruption” had taken place in schemes such as MNREGA during the tenure of the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

Spelling out the steps taken by the Centre to allay the financial uncertainties in the wake of the nationwide lockdown, Sitharaman said that the Centre had ensured cash transfers to bank accounts as part of its PM Garib Kalyan Yojana package.

“The package announced by Centre has helped a lot of people in distress,” she said.

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