Criticising Nirmala Sitharaman over her "rhetorical" and "non-serious" response, Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Wednesday said that the Union Finance Minister should tell the people why the central government needed Rs 1.76 lakh crore from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Sitharaman had on Tuesday criticised Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over his 'stealing from RBI' remark and said there is no point of using the 'chor or chori' word again as the public have already given him a befitting reply in the 2019 general elections.
"Instead of being rhetorical, which I think is not a sign of great maturity, the Finance Minister should tell us why she needed the Rs 1.76 lakh crore from RBI and why such demands had never been made earlier? Why this country is in this situation?," Sibal told ANI when asked about her statement.
"This is a non-serious response from the Finance Minister... In fact, if you ask me there should be a public statement by the Finance Minister to say where our economy is? Why is it that we are in this situation? What needs to be done? What are the thought processes within the government to give a kick-start and to revive the animal spirit in the economy? None of this is being addressed. All that we see is that the Finance Minister is acting like the spokesperson of the BJP like she was when she was in the Opposition," the senior Congress leader added.
Sibal believes that it was not an appropriate way of dealing with the issue.
"After all, the Finance Minister must tell the people of this country why this government needs Rs 1.76 lakh crore from the Reserve Bank of India? It's obvious. It's because the revenue growth has been slow both in terms of direct taxes and indirect taxes. The GST collections have been not up to expectations. Therefore, there is a shortfall of finances for the purposes of taking care of the development agenda of India and also for the purposes of taking care of how to ensure that growth goes up in India," Sibal said.
He added, "GST, at this point in time, in the next quarter is expected to be much less than 7 per cent. So, we are in a difficult financial situation. The Finance Minister should explain to this country what she wants to do and why she needs Rs 1.76 lakh crore?"