The Finance Ministry on Tuesday said more than 42 crore people have received Rs 68,820-crore financial assistance under the government's Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana to protect the poor and vulnerable from the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said it will take many months before the economy turns the corner and registers positive growth.
Sitharaman on Thursday had said the economy has been hit by the pandemic, which is an 'Act of God', and it will see a contraction in the current fiscal.
Six political parties, including the National Conference and its arch rival PDP, issued the resolution making clear that there can be "nothing about us without us", a statement which clearly indicated that the Centre has to take into confidence people of Jammu and Kashmir before implementing any constitutional change.
Chidambaram highlighted the need for the Centre to insist all central government employees to be bilingual in Hindi and English, if it is genuinely committed to both of these being the official languages of India.
What the defence minister said in his "historic Sunday announcement" deserved only an office order from the minister to his secretaries, Chidambaram said.
The former Union minister alleged that BJP-appointed governors have violated the letter and spirit of the Constitution and have in the process "gravely impaired" parliamentary democracy, its conventions and traditions.
A bench headed by Justice R Banumathi rejected the review petition filed by the CBI saying the last year verdict does not suffer from any error apparent warranting its reconsideration.
A password protected e-chargesheet was filed against Chidambaram, his son Karti and others before the court of Special Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar here on Monday.
India's economic growth slowed to 3.1 percent in January-March and to an 11-year low of 4.2 percent for the full fiscal 2019-20 amid a drop in consumption and investment.
Asked if the measures announced would help propel demand, he said, "I do not find anything in this package that could stimulate the demand.”
Chidambaram's sharp attack on the government came over the death of 14 migrant workers in a train accident in Maharashtra's Aurangabad. The workers sleeping on rail tracks were crushed to death by a goods train on Friday morning.
His remarks came after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that wilful defaulters were beneficiaries of 'phone banking' under the UPA regime and the Modi government is chasing them to recover the dues.
The former finance minister asked the government to prepare an exit strategy in view of the lockdown and look into the issue of migrants stranded in different place due to it.
"Rahul Gandhi should take tuition from P Chidambaram on the difference between " 'write-off' and 'waive-off'. The Narendra Modi government has not waived off any loan. 'Write off' is a normal accounting process. It doesn't stop recovery or action against defaults," senior BJP leader and Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said.
The finance ministry on Thursday froze inflation-linked allowance for 50 lakh central government employees and 61 lakh pensioners till June 2021 due to the COVID-19 crisis. However, DA and dearness relief (DR) at current rates will continue to be paid, it said.
"There is overwhelming evidence that more and more people have run out of cash and are forced to stand in lines to collect free cooked food. Only a heartless government will stand by and do nothing," he said.
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said, "The poor have been left to fend for themselves for 21+19 days, including practically soliciting food. There is money, there is food, but the government will not release either money or food. Cry, my beloved country," he said on Twitter.
He also welcomed the ICMR's advice to the government for starting antibody tests in hotspots, as it was overdue.
Chidambaram also suggested a 10-point plan to put money in the bank accounts of the poor and the marginalised, including farmers and labourers, and demanded a cut in GST rates by 5 per cent on all wage goods, essential goods and services, and all goods of mass consumption
The senior Congress leader took to twitter to question the delay
The former finance minister also hoped that there would relief measures and cash incentives offered to the poor in view of the virus threat and lockdown.
On asked about the declaration of election results and the delay in his constituency, the former minister said he was not aware of the time when the election results were out and also in most of the places he knew it was only during that time the official results were announced.
The opposition has been demanding a discussion on Delhi riots, but the government has not relented.
"Delhi Government is no less ill-informed than the central government in its understanding of sedition law," Chidambaram tweeted.