Kapil Sibal. Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, June 5 : Dubbing the "financial economic package" and "vocal for local" call of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as more rhetoric, the Congress on Friday said that the government was trying to divert the attention of the people from "real issues".

Addressing a press conference through video conferencing, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said, "The Prime Minister on May 12 asked the country to go vocal for local and announced an economic package to make the country self-reliant and termed it as Atmanirbhar Abhiyaan (Self reliant)." "However, it failed to help make the poor, the farmers, the migrant workers, the industry or the states self-reliant," he said. Targeting the government, Sibal said that similarly his exhortation to industry to push 'Make in India, Made for the World', expand globally not be dependent on another country in strategic sector did not have a clear roadmap as to how this goal should be achieved.

Firing salvos at the government, the Congress leader said, "How can India become self-reliant until it creates innovation and intellectual property in its universities? This is an act of self deception. This is another rhetoric that you sell to the people of the country," the Congress leader said.

Attacking the government, Sibal said, "We are only manufacturing rhetoric, statements and slogans. That is the only thing we make in India and we are masters at that under this government." Questioning the Rs 20 lakh crore economic package, Sibal said that the 'Atmanirbhar' package does not lead to expansion of government expenditure, as it includes measures already announced by RBI and the budget and amounts to less than one per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), as against 10 per cent claimed by the government.

"The reality is that Modi's 'Atmanirbhar' idea is merely a slogan like innumerable others," Sibal said. He also called for private investment in the universities to create innovation and ideas, which he said did not amount to privatisation.

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