Sitharaman rejects the opposition's `` elitist '' comment on the comment on onions, digs in Chidambaram

NEW DELHI: On Thursday, the Finance Minister cited her government's efforts to control its schemes, such as free cooking gas for poor women and Jan Dhan Yojana's financial inclusion program to counter the opposition's elitist criticism for her Comment of not coming from consuming onion. family.

During the debate in Rajya Sabha on the Bill (Amendment), 2019, which replaces the Ordinance enacted in September that offers corporate tax rate cuts, opposition parties attacked Nirmala for being 'elitist' and not sympathizing with The problems of the common man who faced the worst part of the increase in onion prices in recent months.

In response to criticism, he said that only his comment of not coming from a family that does not have much to do with onion was taken from his response in the Lok Sabha, but not his articulation of 20 minutes of the steps taken by the government to address the increase in onion prices, including truck loads from different states.

Criticisms of the economy are welcome ... this government is responding continuously (to the developing situation) and measures are being taken. You may like it or not like it. You may think that it is adequate or inappropriate, I am quite willing to buy that. But it is not an accusation that this government is elitist. Was (free LPG connection scheme) Ujjaala for elitist? Jan Dhan Yojna is it for elitist? PM Awas Yojana is for elitist? So Ayushman Bharat is for elitist? she asked.

He then investigated former finance minister P Chidambaram for his response to the price increase in 2012. What was the statement given by people who accuse me of being elitist when I am talking about onions sent from (different states) and the effort of government. What was the statement given sir, then in 2012, when the price increase was high?

Without naming Chidambaram, he said: I would like to recall the statements of one of the former finance ministers that when the price increase was the problem at that time, and this I am referring to 2012 when the price was rising, the Food inflation was touching the sky and India were among the five fragile economies in the world.

I am quoting the Lord: 'When the urban middle class can buy a bottle of mineral water for 15 rupees and ice cream for 20 rupees, why do they make so much noise about the price increase?' And these are the people who accuse me of being elitist and government of being elitist. I absolutely condemn this approach, he said.

Early today, Chidambaram had joked. Do you eat avocado? when asked to comment on Nirmala Sitharaman's comment that his family did not eat much onion.

Speaking at a later press conference, Chidambaram said his comments about the finance minister were not sarcastic.

I wasn't sarcastic, I was quoting her. They should have planned beforehand, what is the point of importing (onion) now, when will they arrive. But if the finance minister says I don't eat onion, it shows that this government's mentality, he said.

Sitharaman again referred to the decisions taken by Chidambaran as finance minister at UPA-1 when he tried to justify the reversal of the higher surcharge imposed on foreign portfolio investors in his first budget.

Once again, without naming Chidambaran, he said that the additional benefits tax and a high-value cash withdrawal tax from the bank accounts were applied in 2005 only to be reversed in 2009 and 2008, respectively.

To get money out of their accounts, a tax was going to be collected in 2005 and again by a former finance minister who is an expert in economics and talks about finance with great authority, he introduced, he said.

Rajya Sabha approved with a voice vote the Draft Tax Law Act (Amendment) of 2019 that replaces the Tax Law Ordinance (Amendment) of 2019, promulgated on September 20, 2019, to reduce the basic corporate tax rate.

The amendment contains a negative list of industries that will not qualify for a lower tax rate for manufacturing companies established as of October 1, 2019, but that begin production before 2023, he said.

The negative list includes software development, mining and book printing, since they are not manufacturing per se, the minister added.

Sitharaman announced on September 20 the reduction of the basic corporate tax rate to 22% of 30% for companies that do not seek exemptions, and reduced the rate for some new manufacturing companies to 15% of 25%. Including surcharges and terminations (levies to raise funds for specific purposes), the effective corporate tax rate will decrease by almost 10 percentage points to 25.2 percent.

The corporate tax cut followed other government measures to accelerate the slowdown in GDP growth adopted since the May general elections. These include efforts to reduce bureaucracy and boost foreign direct investment (FDI), and plans to consolidate state banks.

While answering a question posed by PNC lawmaker Supriya Sule at Lok Sabha on Wednesday, Sitharaman said: I don't eat much onion and garlic. I come from a family that doesn't have much to do with onion.

Sitharaman commented on his eating habits during a debate in the House on the increase in the price of onion throughout the country. Supriya Sule had raised the issue of NAPs and onion producers.

Why has onion production decreased? We export rice and milk and many other products. The onion producer is a small farmer and really needs to be protected, Sule said.

Sitharaman during the response to the debate on the first batch of complementary claims for grants for 2019-20 at the Lok Sabha on Wednesday stated that the government has taken several measures to control the increase in onion prices and has initiated measures to improve the technology to improve kitchen staple storage.

Onion prices in many places have crossed Rs 100 per kg.