In a sharp retort to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s offer to share experience of his government’s cash transfer scheme, India on Thursday reminded him that the size of its economic stimulus package to deal with the coronavirus pandemic is as large as Pakistan’s GDP.
The response by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) came hours after Khan, in a series of tweets, offered to share with India Pakistan’s experience of implementing its “successful” cash transfer programme following reports of how poor people in India are battling poverty in view of the coronavirus lockdown.
“Pakistan is better known for making cash transfers to bank accounts outside the country rather than giving to its own people. Clearly, Imran Khan needs a new set of advisers and better information,” MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said during an online media briefing.
“We all know about their debt problem (almost 90 per cent of GDP) and how much they have pressed for debt restructuring. It would also be better for them to remember that India has a stimulus package, which is as large as Pakistan’s annual GDP,” he said.
Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a Rs 20 lakh crore economic stimulus package for various key sectors to deal with the adverse impact of the pandemic.
In his tweets, Mr Khan said his government has successfully transferred Rs 120 billion in nine weeks to over 10 million families in a “transparent manner” to deal with the fallout of COVID-19 on the poor.
I am ready to offer help and share our successful cash transfer programme, lauded internationally for its reach and transparency, with India, the Pakistan prime minister added.
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