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Budget 2021: Congress says worried that Nirmala Sitharaman may exhibit reworked estimates

PTI     January 28, 2021

Alleging that seven years of the Narendra Modi government have "wrecked" the economy and high growth prospects, the Congress on Thursday said it is afraid that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present "dressed-up" revised estimates for 2020-21 in the upcoming Budget session of Parliament and attempt to build an attractive narrative for the coming fiscal year.

The opposition party demanded a large fiscal stimulus to the economy, asserting that such a step alone will put money in the hands of people and stimulate demand.

At a press conference, former finance minister P Chidambaram also demanded that the government should make direct cash transfers to 20-30 per cent of the families at the bottom of the economy at least for a period of six months.

He said the Congress believes that the reality is that the economy is in a recession, the recovery will be slow and painful, and the "rate of GDP growth in 2021-22 (in constant prices) will be modest - no more than five per cent".

"We are afraid that the FM will present a dressed-up Revised Estimates for 2020-21 and attempt to build an attractive narrative for 2021-22. The RE for 2020-21 will be a set of false numbers and, therefore, the BE for 2021-22 will be a conjurer's illusion," Chidambaram said, reading out a party statement at the press conference with senior Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh and Mallikarjuna Kharge by his side.Sitharaman is scheduled to present the annual Union Budget in Parliament on Monday.

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