‘He was pessimistic’: Anurag Thakur slams P. Chidambaram, hails India’s digital economy

Chennai, March 22 : Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur on Friday criticised senior Congress leader and former Union Minister P. Chidambaram, saying contrary to the latter’s viewpoint that no one would use digital payments in India, the system has touched an all-time high and the country is a world leader in that.

Anurag Thakur said that the former Union Minister had mocked the digital economy when it was introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Speaking at the Viksit Bharat Ambassador (VBA) meet-up programme here, he said that Chidambaram was “totally pessimistic” as the Congress leader had then said that no one would use digital payments, there wouldn’t be bank accounts and no Internet connection.

However, Anurag Thakur said, numerous Indians are using digital UPI payments, and the digital economy has become a common-place in the country.

The Union Minister said that Congress and Chidambaram could never dream of such a positive transformation and hence, they were skeptical on the subject.

Anurag Thakur also said that all public sector banks in the country were having robust growth and added that the NPAs of all these banks have come down significantly.

The Union Minister said that good banking was a clear example of good governance, adding that the people of the country, especially ordinary citizens, were benefitting from the positive growth story of the banking system in the country.

Anurag Thakur also said that the government had helped street vendors and had given them loans.

He said that there are instances of such vendors doing business worth Rs 1,00,000 in a year with a loan amount of Rs 10,000.

The Union Minister said that more than 8 crore people benefitted under this scheme.

The Union Minister said that several startups have come up in the country in the sectors of space, agriculture and many other areas, adding that there are currently 160 unicorns in the country.

He said that one unicorn is worth more than Rs 8,500 crore.

The Union Minister also said that certain startups in the area of drones like ‘Garuda’ in Chennai were doing “extremely well”, adding he had visited the start-up twice.

He also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government had used technology at its best and this has led to the increase in UPI, OTT and even digital certification.

Anurag Thakur also spoke on the Covid digital certification, saying that it was a huge success.

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