Government must replace claptrap with action

Updated: Oct 19, 2019, 07:19 IST | The Editorial |

This is not about an election. The Union Finance Minister, N Sitharaman, had promised that investors' problems will be addressed

Manmohan Singh
Manmohan Singh

We have a smorgasbord of election-related developments, given that polls are just a weekend away. There has been much back and forth, which is expected as the poll frenzy reaches fever pitch.

Amid the cacophony, former prime minister Manmohan Singh addressed a poll rally in Mumbai on Thursday. While it was expected that the Congress leader would bash the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), pooh-poohing claims of progress and pointing to the economic slowdown, the interactive session was interesting.

It was painful to see the Punjab & Maharashtra Co-operative Bank depositors, literally in tears, begging the former PM to show them a way out of the mess. They also exhorted him to raise this issue with the government, who needs to hear them out.

This is not about an election. The Union Finance Minister, N Sitharaman, had promised that investors' problems will be addressed. What they need now is a clear timeline on how the government plans to get their money back. Why should statements have no follow-ups? Had Sitharaman given a conscientious roadmap instead of placatory reassurances, the desperate depositors would not be begging Singh for help.

It is also worthwhile to weigh in on Singh's statement that ailing depositors, some of them kidney-transplant patients, should get help from the Prime Minister's Relief Fund. There could be several depositors undergoing costly medical treatments. Singh's take on immediate relief for the suffering certainly has merit.

Let us go beyond ego and Congress vs BJP — it behoves the ruling party to acknowledge this as a humanitarian issue. Singh's suggestion may be worth looking into and it would do the government good to take a break from claptrap and take concrete action.

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