The Center takes advantage of a meeting in Sri Lanka to warn against the “revived culture”

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in the Center used a multi-party meeting on the situation in Sri Lanka on Tuesday to stress the importance of fiscal prudence and warn states against the practice of handing out gifts or “revri culture”, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently described it.

Representatives of opposition parties including Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) raised objections when Finance Ministry officials made presentations on health financing of certain states, in particular budgeted and unbudgeted borrowing by certain state governments.

Government sources, however, later justified the use of the multi-stakeholder meeting on the economic crisis in Sri Lanka to highlight the financial situation of the state and to emphasize the importance of fiscal prudence.

The TRS, TMC and DMK are respectively in power in Telangana, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.

The YSR Congress Party, which is in power in Andhra Pradesh and has often been sympathetic to the Modi government in the Centre, has also expressed its dissatisfaction with the decision of the Ministry of Finance to use the forum to preach budgetary prudence to the state governments.

The Congress did the same, the main opposition party in parliament and the ruling party in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. The BJP and some other political parties, however, supported the government’s move to highlight the lessons India should learn from the economic downturn in Sri Lanka.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi briefed representatives of all political parties on the situation in Sri Lanka. He then told reporters that the lessons India should learn from the economic crisis in the neighboring island nation were very important and included the importance of practicing fiscal prudence and responsible governance as well as the importance of avoiding a gift culture.

The government has apparently sought to invoke the economic crisis in Sri Lanka to warn Indian state governments, especially those led by opposition parties, against resorting to handouts and thereby jeopardizing fiscal health. states in order to win elections.

The prime minister himself recently warned against the practice of handing out freebies to win elections. He called it a “revived (soft) culture”, as he addressed a rally at the inauguration of the Bundelkhand highway in Jalaun in Uttar Pradesh.

P Chidambaram and Manickam Tagore from Congress, Sharad Pawar from Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), TR Baalu ​​and MM Abdulla from DMK, M Thambidurai from All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Saugata Ray from TMC, Farooq Abdullah from Conference National Assembly, Sanjay Singh of Aam Aadmi Party and Keshava Rao of Telangana Rashtra Samithi attended the all-party meeting, which was held on the second day of the monsoon session of Parliament.

Jaishankar said India was concerned about the very severe and unprecedented economic crisis in Sri Lanka. He, however, called speculation about India also experiencing a crisis like that in Sri Lanka an ill-informed comparison.

New Delhi has so far provided aid worth more than $3.8 billion this year to help cash-strapped Sri Lanka and has also sent consignments of food, fuel, medicine, fertilizers and other essentials.