NEW DELHI: Following surgical strike on black money, PM Narendra Modi wooed middle class and farmers with multiple initiatives. While Modi’s new year address brought smile to the faces of common people with scores of pro-poor and pro-farmer schemes, it came with warning for those indulging in corrupt activities.
In his eagerly awaited address to the nation, the PM also talked about digital and cashless economyand announced many initiatives to promote this to eradicate black money and corruption. The PM also urged the banks to protect the honest people and to help them in day to day life.
Announcing relief under PM housing scheme, Modi said, “So many years after independence, lakhs of poor don't have their homes. As black money grew, homes became out of reach of the poor and the middle class. In 2017, villagers who want to build their homes or expand them will get loans. For loans up to 2 lakh - 3% interest relief; 9 lakh - 4% interest relief; 12 lakh - 3% interest relief will be given.”
Modi also informed about the fact that only a few are paying taxes to the government. “There are just 24 lakh people in country who admit their income is more than 10 lakh. Every city you see, has people with large bungalows and cars. Don't you think the fight against black money and corruption deserves more power,” he asked
Warning those indulging in corrupt activities, the PM said, “law will do its job, punish the guilty. But for the government what is a priority is how the honest are secured and how honesty is more widely established. This government is a friend of the honest and hopes to bring the dishonest back on the right track.”
Modi also hit on red tapism as he said, “You often have poor experiences with red tapism, and bureaucracy. Whether it is Central government or state government, all are responsible for the welfare of the ordinary people and seclusion of the dishonest.”
Mentioning some instances of corruption among bank officials, the PM said, “Yes, some serious crimes have been revealed and the people responsible wont be spared… Keeping in mind the independence of banks, I want to appeal to them to focus on the middle class and the underprivileged.”.
Announcing relief for farmers, Modi said, “Government will take care of interest for 60 days for farmers who had taken loans from district coop, central bank. Rs 20,000 crore in NABARD fund to give loans to farmers. In 3 months, 3 crore Kisan Credit Cards will be transformed to RuPay credit cards. Farmers had to go to banks to withdraw money. With this they will be able to sell and buy at any place.”
Similarly, the PM also announced some relief for small and medium industries. He said that for small entrepreneurs, credit guarantee raised from 1 crore to 2 crore and loans by non-banking financial companies will also be covered in this.
In a bid to promote digital transactions, Modi said, “For entrepreneurs dealing in such transaction, tax will be calculated at 6 per cent, not 8.”
The PM also announced a national scheme for pregnant women, saying, “ Pregnant women will get Rs 6,000 for their delivery, vaccination, for nutritious meals. This will help reduce the reduce deaths of mothers during childbirth.”
Modi also brought smile on the faces of senior citizens as he said that they will be assured 8 per cent interest on their deposits up to Rs. 7.5 lakh.
Modi also talked about role of black money in political funding saying, “When corruption and black money is brought up, political funding becomes a large part of it. Time has come for all political leaders to understand the people.”
He further talked about electoral reform and said, “the time has come when politicians shun holier than thou mentality and work towards reforming the political system. Even the President has spoken on this.
Modi also invoked Mahatma Gandhi as he said, “In 1917, under Mahatma Gandhi's leadership, the first Satyagraha was launched in Champaran. A hundred years later, we see Indians still have the same strength. Mahatma Gandhi is not anymore but people have shown that his spirit lives on.”