AHMEDABAD: BJP national spokesperson M J Akbar today said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is taking steps for poverty elimination instead of poverty alleviation.
"In the first speech given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Parliament, he had said that the days of poverty alleviation are over and the government will focus on poverty elimination," Akbar said.
The Rajya Sabha MP was speaking at the presentation ceremony of PharmInnova award instituted by Rajnibhai V Patel Trust.
"At the time of Independence, around 70 per cent population was below poverty line. In the last so many years after Independence, we were able to bring it down to roughly 35 per cent of the population," Akbar said.
"For us, who have not faced hunger, this seems to be a huge achievement but from the point of view of those 35 per cent who are still below poverty line, the wait is too long.
They are asking whether the country will take another 70 years to eliminate the remaining 35 per cent poverty," he said.
According to him, the Centre has taken several steps towards poverty elimination.
"The government opened the door of banks for poor. There was discussion that there is no money in the Jandhan bank accounts of poor, but that is immaterial as for the first time poor people were given access to banks," he said.
According to Akbar, the major scheme that was launched was that of Mudra bank, where small entrepreneurs are given loans from Rs 10,000 to two lakhs without any guarantee.
"Small entrepreneurs can give job at lower level to one or two people. This will create a lot of jobs in the country," he said.
These poor people will also become consumers and it will help the traditional economy grow as well, he said.
"In the first year under the Mudra scheme Rs 100 crore were provided and in the second year (this financial year) the provision is of Rs 180 crore," he said.
"Many of Prime Minister's opponents are surprised that his popularity rankings are improving. All this is thanks to the work being done by him," he said.