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You started privatisation in 1991: Sitharaman to Cong in RS

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said in the Rajya Sabha that the Congress party has started the privatisation in 1991 following the report of the Malhotra Committee.

Replying to the debate on the Union Budget 2022-23, she said that the Congress initiated the privatisation process in 1991 and disinvestment of worth over Rs one lakh crore was made in 1991 and the following years.

"I want to ask the Congress party? Do you want privatisation or not? You started it in 1991, what is the explanation for over one lakh crore disinvestment under UPA?," she questioned.

Responding to the Opposition on Crypto currency that the government was legalising it, she said, "I just want to say that by taxing the crypto currencies, we have taxed the profit emanating from the transactions. I am not doing anything to legalise it or ban it or regulate it."

Legitimate or illegitimate is a different question, but I will tax as that is our sovereign right, she added.

Replying to the issue of assistance to the states, she said for financial year 2022-23, the allocation is Rs one lakh crore to assist them in capitalising overall investments in the economy for 50 years without any interest burden.

The Finance Minister also said that keeping in mind the states and their difficulties in focus, we ensured an advance installment of devolution is given to them to double their cash in hand in November 2021.

Similarly, in January also, we again gave them double the monthly instalment so that they can spend faster. "We are being a bit more sensitive and frontloading their payments so that they don't suffer," Sitharaman said.

Slamming the principal Opposition party, she said that a Member said our policies were remote controlled from somewhere, including Nagpur, "this comes from a party where there is no party democracy and the policy was decided by 10 Janpath and announced on 7, LKM (Lok Kalyan Marg)."

"Was Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who was from this House, also disconnected from ground reality?" She replied to the Opposition Member who commented that being a Member of the Upper House, she was unaware of the ground reality.

"10 years being guided by a Prime Minister from this august House, I don't expect a member to suggest that to me," she commented during her reply.

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