Former finance minister P Chidambaram Saturday welcomed the Centre’s decision to raise the gross borrowing target for the year to Rs 12 lakh crore from the budgeted Rs 7.8 lakh crore, but said the funds should be used to provide relief to the poor.
The Congress leader, however, slammed the government for “dragging its feet for 38 days” on facilitating the return of stranded migrant workers to their home states. His party colleague Jairam Ramesh, meanwhile, accused the government of proposing to do away with the Interstate Migrant Workmen Act and argued saying, “If anything, the Act needs to be updated and strengthened. The inexcusable loss of lives and livelihoods needs to stop now.”
Reacting to the Centre’s decision, Chidambaram said he and the Congress, echoing views expressed by several eminent economists, had asked the government to borrow more in 2020-21.
“In our view, the budgeted fiscal deficit of 3.5 per cent should not be a constraint… After resisting our appeals, especially through statements by the CEA, the government has finally decided to borrow an additional amount of Rs 4.2 lakh crore… We welcome the decision,” he said.