Former finance minister P Chidambaram on Friday asked BJP’s Nirmala Sitharaman and Nitin Gadkari to settle their own accounts first. The tweet came as a jibe at the solutions the two ministers have proposed for the problems faced by MSMEs in the country.
“Minister Gadkari says that governments and PSUs owe Rs 5 lakh crore as unpaid dues to MSMEs” he tweeted. “Minister Sitharaman says she will offer collateral free loan of Rs 3 lakh crore to MSMEs. So, who is the lender and who is the borrower? Will the two ministers ‘settle their accounts’ first and let MSMEs save themselves without the government’s ‘help’?” he said in a series of tweets.
Gadkari, the Union minister for MSMEs, had earlier said that government agencies are yet to clear dues of more than Rs5 lakh crore to such enterprises.
He said that the MSME sector was on the verge of collapse and had urged the major industries to release outstanding dues to such firms within a month. Earlier on Wednesday, Sitharaman had announced that Rs 3 lakh crore in collateral-free automatic loans will be provided for businesses, including MSMEs.
The announcement was the first part of a Rs20 lakh crore stimulus package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.