Government has no relief to offer migrant workers

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The Congress criticised the government for the second tranche of its stimulus package to boost the Covid-19 hit economy, saying it had provided just Rs 3500 crore for the millions of migrant workers walking thousands of kilometres to reach their homes.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said the entire press conference of finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman was a “classic display of arrogance, ignorance and insensitivity” and claimed that except for Rs 1500 crore interest subvention for Shishu Mudra loans and Rs 3500 crore for migrant workers, there was nothing else out of the Rs 20 lakh crore package.

“For the millions of migrants that you claim are the builders of this nation, all you have for them is Rs 3500 crore in terms of atta and chana. It is pathetic. They are left to the mercy of God. This is your empathy for the poor of this country. That’s why we say you are a suit boot ki sarkaar,” he told reporters through a video conference.

“This is the entire quantum of the package that the BJP ostensibly put together for the greatest humanitarian tragedy since the 1947 Partition exodus and the East Pakistan refugee crisis,” Tewari added.

He said the government does not even have the figures of how many people were housed in relief camps. The government said there are 8 crore migrants but the reality is that 11 crore migrants are in the country, as per the 2011 census, and the numbers have increased since then, he added.

“We expected the finance minister to specify what the government is doing to ferry migrants who are walking on the roads back to their homes. But nothing like that happened,” Tewari said.

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