Government aims to provide basic facilities to all through saturation of existing schemes, says Nirmala Sitharaman

The saturation of the social system means that all entitled persons benefit from the facilities.

The saturation of the social system means that all entitled persons benefit from the facilities.

As the debate over freebies heats up, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on August 13, 2022 that the aim of the Modi government is to empower everyone by saturating existing social welfare schemes as every Indian citizen deserves access to basic facilities.

“Every Indian citizen deserves to have access to basic facilities without being beholden to anyone. Our approach is one of empowerment through saturation of existing regimes rather than entitlement,” she said during a event in Bangalore.

The saturation of the social system means that all entitled persons benefit from the facilities.

“If you’ve reached everyone who is eligible for something, then you’ve reached saturation…there have been so many attempts to improve the lives of the poor over the past 75 years,” she said during the release of the 100th edition of the BJP Karnataka Economic Bulletin.

“The difference between all the garibi hataos (slogans) in the world and now…the approach to development that Prime Minister Narendra Modi employs, even as he introduces programs that benefit those in need, is in principle saturation so that they cover everyone who is eligible,” she said.

Garibi Hatao was the slogan of Congress under former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi during the 1971 election campaign.

The Finance Minister’s statement is significant as political parties compete for freebies. Opposition parties led by the AAP have called for a referendum on spending taxpayers’ money on health care and education.

Earlier this week, Ms Sitharaman attacked Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for giving a ‘perverse twist’ to the debate over freebies, saying the AAP leader putting education and health in that category was an attempt to strike fear into the minds of the poor.

“No Indian government has ever denied them since independence. Thus, by categorizing education and health as gifts, Kejriwal is trying to bring a sense of worry and fear into the minds of the poor,” he said. she declared.

Joining the debate, DMK leader and Tamil Nadu chief minister MP Stalin said on Saturday that government spending on education and health cannot be construed as gifts.

In an apparent reference to Modi, Stalin said: “Some people have now recently emerged with the advice that there should be no freebies. We don’t mind. If I talk more, it will become politics. So I don’t want to talk about it any more.” The Prime Minister has in recent days denounced the competitive populism of extending “rewaris” (free) which is not only a waste of taxpayers’ money but also an economic disaster that could hamper India’s will to to become atmanirbhar (autonomous).

His comments were seen directed at parties like the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which, ahead of assembly elections in states like Punjab and more recently Gujarat, have promised electricity, among other things. and free water.

Ms Sitharaman also pointed out that the government is ensuring that those who cheated the banks and left are pursued relentlessly, their properties are auctioned and the money is returned to the banks on an ongoing basis.

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