September 30, 2022

Government wants to empower people, not just provide rights, says Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Amid an escalating debate over freebies offered by political parties to woo voters, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stressed on Saturday that the current government’s approach has been to empower people through “saturation existing regimes” rather than simply distributing rights.

She also claimed that the government prosecutes all cases involving fugitive economic offenders, who fled the country after defrauding banks. Their properties are put up for auction and the money is returned to the lenders, she added.

Speaking at the launch of the 100th edition of BJP’s Karnataka Unit Economic Newsletter in Bangalore, the minister explained the Modi government’s move: “You start something (programme), it reaches a number of people but there are more people who are eligible to get it. If you reach everyone who is eligible, then you reach saturation…. Under Prime Minister Modi, we are reaching saturation in every case.

Saturation, she says, is an indicator of empowerment. In contrast, the extension of mere rights may mean that the government does not truly respect the recipient’s own ability to make their own destiny.

“Every Indian citizen deserves to have access to basic facilities without being beholden to anyone. Our approach is one of empowerment through saturation of existing regimes rather than entitlement,” the minister added.