In a bitter attack on the Centre, the Telangana government on Saturday said that the union governmet is 'pulling a joke' on the poor and distressed people of the country through daily announcements as part of its COVID-19 package.
Telangana State Planning Board Vice-Chairman B. Vinod Kumar condemned what he called the callous attitude of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for giving false hopes to the distressed people of India through "phony announcements" every day without giving any substantial direct benefits and relief to them.
Reacting to day four of the announcement of relief measures by Sitharaman under the Rs 20 lakh crore package announced by the Prime Minister, he said the Centre was mistaking reform measures as relief measures.
He said once again there was no announcement of any financial support to the states facing a huge financial crisis due to revenue loss on account of the lockdown.
"As long as these announcements do not contain some direct financial support to the states, they are just publicity gimmicks to divert attention from serious issues," he said in a statement.
Referring to the announcements made about the structural reforms in sectors like coal, mineral exploration, defence production, civil aviation, power distribution companies in union territories, space and atomic energy, Vinod Kumar wondered how they are related to COVID-19 relief.
Stating that structural reforms in any sector are always required and it is an ongoing process, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader said that the moot point is how these reforms pertain to relief measures at the individual and institutional levels.
"One is forced to wonder that the government of India is mistaking reforms measures as relief measures. If it is so, the government of India's announcements on relief measures are misleading and mischievous. It is not an exaggeration to state that the government of India is pulling a joke on the poor and distressed population of the country through these daily announcements," he said.