Monday, March 20, 2023

Owaisi accused the government of ‘politicizing’ the all-party meeting on Lanka by raising state finances

AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday accused the government of politicizing the all-party meeting on the Sri Lanka crisis by raising “unrelated issues” regarding the finances of Indian states.

According to sources, some regional parties like YSR Congress, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) objected to a presentation by the Union Finance Ministry on financial health of states during the all-party meeting. ,

Confirming the objection raised by the opposition parties, Owaisi alleged that the government used the meeting to raise “unrelated issues” regarding the finances of Indian states.

Owaisi said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in his opening remarks said there was a “misinformation campaign” and comparisons between India and Sri Lanka, and asked why the Department of Economic Affairs had to make a presentation if that was the case.

In a series of tweets, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief said, “Many opposition parties have opposed this politicisation.”

“I referred to a report from May 24 which clearly indicated the impending financial crisis in Sri Lanka. I asked what the Modi government was doing to help Sri Lanka was too little, too late. refused but a request was made by Gotabaya (Rajapaksa), he actually tweeted about it as well,” Owaisi said and also posted a link to a media report on it.

The Lok Sabha MP said that if Sri Lanka wants a USD 4.6 billion IMF facility, why should the US take control as India has enough reserves to invest in such a facility.

“We have our own experts including IAS officers (current and former) who have worked in the IMF and can arrange this for us. The government should see what happens in Sri Lanka as part of the US-China rivalry. We should not let Sri Lanka become a pawn.

Owaisi also emphasized that India should not ignore the risks of ethnic tensions.

“Let’s not forget the Islamophobic policies of the Sri Lankan government and the ISIS-like Easter Day bombings. The neglect of minorities is endemic in Sri Lanka,” he said.

He said that Muslims and Tamils ​​were not a part of the previous government nor of the present government.

Owaisi said the consequences of the escalating ethnic tensions in Sri Lanka would be felt in Tamil Nadu as well.

“Did Gotabaya Rajapaksa want to come to India and the Indian government refused? If so, why? Did the NSA facilitate his flight to Maldives and then to Singapore?” He said in another tweet.

The government has said no refugees are coming from Sri Lanka, but what if they start streaming later, he asked.

“Does the government not agree that we need a refugee policy? What will the government do? How many people can we accommodate?” Owaisi said.

“I asked if it is true that the renewable energy project in Sri Lanka’s North Mannar district was given to an Indian company at the request of @PMOIndia?” They said.

Noting that Lanka is in this mess as Gotabaya Rajapaksa pressed data, Owaisi asked if the Prime Minister’s Office here would release data on job losses and child labour.

Jaishankar on Tuesday briefed the leaders of all major political parties about the situation in Sri Lanka devastated by the economic turmoil and the assistance being provided by India.

In the meeting attended by representatives of 28 political parties, two presentations were made – one by Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra on the Sri Lankan crisis and its political implications and the other by Economic Affairs Secretary Ajay Seth on the financial health of all Indians. states.

During the meeting, finance ministry officials talked about budget and non-budgetary borrowings of some states to underline their financial stress, leading regional parties to say it was a forum to discuss the Sri Lankan crisis and not the states. on its financial position.

Some leaders claimed that the borrowing ratio of the Center to GDP is higher than that of any state.

Government sources said the presentation was made to underline fiscal sloppiness and the ill-effects of freebies.

In his remarks to the media after the meeting, Jaishankar said that the lesson from Lanka is very important.

“They belong to fiscal prudence, responsible governance and should not have a culture of freebies,” he said.

The presentation said that some states have huge outstanding guarantees which could pose a threat if implemented.

Citing figures, it said the average committed expenditure for revenue receipts of all states is 56 per cent, while it is over 75 per cent in Punjab, Kerala and Uttarakhand.

Owaisi said he is strongly associated with the YSR Congress and TRS over the alleged “injustice” done to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana by the Modi government.

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