Gujarat minister challenges Congress over welfare package

Gandhinagar, Sep 24 : Minister of energy and petrochemicals Saurabh Patel has challenged the opposition Congress to unveil a package similar to ‘Atma Nirbhar Gujarat’ announced by the Gujarat government, in the Congress led state governments for the benefit of the people during the corona crisis.

“I challenge them to produce such a package from the Congress led governments in other states. I am sure that even collectively they wouldn’t be able to match the 14.22 thousand crore package announced by the Gujarat government for the benefit of the people during the corona crisis,” said Saurabh Patel on the sidelines of the Gujarat Assembly session on Thursday.

The Gujarat government had announced this package, following the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ announcement by the central government, to provide relief to the lockdown and pandemic affected people. Under the package, underprivileged people have been provided essential commodities to the tune of Rs 392 crore, like wheat, rice, sugar, salt and other essentials.

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Similarly 61 lakh Above Poverty Line (APL) families have been provided essential commodities to the tune of Rs 590 crore while rations have been given to 6 lakh people who didn’t have ration card documents, under the ‘Anna Bhrahm’ scheme.

“We have also given relief of around Rs 2300 crore through waiving off and reducing property tax, commercial tax, electricity bill, vehicle tax under the Atma Nirbhar package. Under this, we waived off 100 units charge of households utilising less than 200 units of electricity. We gave relief of Rs 600 crore to 1.44 crore electricity consumers in the state, out of which 1.16 crore consumers availed the benefits,” said Saurabh Patel.

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“We also waived off Rs 144 crore in property tax to 72 lakh households by giving them 10% relief in taxes. We have also helped the farmers,” added Patel.

“The opposition Congress only criticizes the BJP government through negative politics, which is not good. If they have any positive suggestions, we would surely accept them,” added Patel.


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