MUMBAI: Prime Minister Narenda Modi on Friday exhorted banks to entice people away from gold by designing financial products that would obliterate the necessity for hoarding gold more than normally required.
“This is a challenge for the banking sector so that the desire and requirement of any person is reduced and he feels as secure with a financial product or bank savings,’’ said Modi addressing bankers and top industrialists in Mumbai at the 60th anniversary celebration of ICICI Bank. Large import of gold has been a major cause of India’s yawning current account deficit last year.
“A large number of Indians own and acquire more gold than they normally need and weaning away from this lust will help the economy a great deal productively,” Modi said. Most Asians tend to leave their children with cash and wealth, a significant part of which is in gold.
‘’There should be competiton among all banks to be the leader in converting India into a cashless economy,” he said.
Modi earlier dedicated ICICI Bank’s initiative of converting digital an entire village at Akodara at Sabarkantha district, in Gujarat. Modi said banks must aspire to convert the entire nation digital and increase cashless transactons.
Modi commended the village for creating a ‘’cattle hostel’’, which helps in keeping the village clean and increse their income.
While complimenting banks in participating in Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, Modi told bankers to also lend money for waste management, and other cleanliness related businesses and create one lakh cleanliness entrepreneurs, the way they lend to other large projects. These businesses are big in the West, he noted.
Speaking earlier, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said with the speedy accomplishment by the Jan Dhan Yojana will enable the country achieve a growth rate higher than china as incomes that were earlier unaccounted for will now come in the transparent system. ‘’We will pursue our roadmap doggedly, he said.