Rahul Gandhi said that direct cash transfer would benefit the people of India and in turn its economy, while addressing a press conference on Tuesday. He asserted that India is facing the result of a failed lockdown.

New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi On Tuesday said that he had been alerting the government of the looming economic dangers as an aftermath of the Coronavirus crisis, since the month of February, and asserted that a direct ‘cash injection’ was required to push the economy in the right direction. Gandhi was taking questions of media persons via video conference, ahead of the approaching end of the Lockdown 4.0 which is scheduled to conclude on May 31.

Gandhi initiated the briefing by questioning the government over its alternative plan of action, as the lockdown ‘could not yield expected results’. Asserting that lockdown in India turned out to be a failure of the government, Rahul said, “India is the only country where the virus is exponentially rising and we are removing the lockdown.”

“The aim and purpose of the lockdown has failed. India is facing the result of a failed lockdown. What is the government’s plan now?” he questioned.

Replying to question on whether the government did not give the due importance to the opposition’s concern, Gandhi said that the work of opposition is to pressurize the government and steer it in the direction of the issues being overlooked. We had cautioned the government that the situation will be getting worse in the coming days.

“The decision makers are of the view that if government makes direct cash transfers to the poor section of the population, it will lead to a bad impression among foreign countries and will negatively affect India’s rating. I want to say that India’s strength lies within the country, and does not depend on the perception of the countries outside. The image of India is created from the people residing in it, not from the outside,” he said.

He said that the economic package announced by the government is of no use, as the need of the hour is direct cash transfer to poor people.

We have to protect this strength of India. For this we need to transfer direct cash to the accounts of the poor. There is a need to transfer Rs 7500 directly to poor labourers. What other countries will perceive, can be dealt with later on,” said Gandhi.

Responding to a question on whether to prioritise healthcare or economy, Gandhi said “we’re intelligent to work a path that would create successful compromise between health and economy. India has faced very serious unemployment problem and this is not new. Measures like Make In India have not yielded expected outcomes.

On India-China tensions, Gandhi said he would avoid commenting on it unless there is transparency over the entire issue. He said that govt should clarify what has transpired in Nepal and Ladakh.

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