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As the parliamentary committee heads for a discussion on the status of Indian economy, opposition parties are gearing up to again raise the demand for direct cash transfers in the bank accounts of the financially weaker sections (PTI)
As the parliamentary committee heads for a discussion on the status of Indian economy, opposition parties are gearing up to again raise the demand for direct cash transfers in the bank accounts of the financially weaker sections (PTI)

Parliament panel may scrutinize Covid-19 economic package

  • The standing committee on finance is set to examine the long-term impact of covid-19 on the Indian economy on Wednesday
  • A detailed report would also be presented to the members about the impact of the pandemic on some of the leading economies in the world

The 20-trillion economic package announced by the Centre last year to offset the impact of covid-19 is expected to come under scrutiny, with members of the government’s think-tank NITI Aayog set to brief a parliamentary panel later this week, said three people aware of the development.

The parliamentary standing committee on finance will examine the long-term impact of the pandemic on the economy in its first such meeting on Wednesday. A report would be presented to the members during the meeting titled “long term impact of covid-19 pandemic on the global economy, trade flows and financial markets". This will be followed by a discussion on the pandemic’s impact on major economies worldwide.

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“The agenda of the meeting is not limited to the Indian economy. It will be a broad-based discussion about the impact of covid-19 on India and other major economies around the world. We are expecting a detailed presentation on the impact of covid-19 in some of the important sectors of the Indian economy while comparing it with global impact on the sector," said one of the people mentioned above.

The handling of the pandemic has been a key bone of contention, with several opposition parties flagging that the Centre has not done enough to help the poor and small and medium enterprises during this crisis.

“The idea is to discuss the long-term impact that the pandemic has had on trade flows, financial markets and the economy in general. Anecdotally, we know that almost all sectors have been affected but we expect officials to give us some statistics on what the progress is in terms of the revival of the economy in the past few months," said the second person cited above, requesting anonymity.

Opposition parties are gearing up to push for their demand for direct cash transfers in the bank accounts of the financially weaker sections. The strict lockdown imposed in March triggered large-scale migration of workers and labourers with more than 7 million people travelling to their villages in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh.

“A stimulus for the poor, or some kind of direct cash transfer in their bank accounts has been a long-standing demand of opposition parties. This demand was raised by former Congress president Rahul Gandhi several times. Opposition members would like to know why this demand was not met and also how the package announced by the Union government has transformed the lives of the poor and marginalized," the third person mentioned above said. Senior opposition leaders are keen to understand the unemployment caused by covid-19.


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