Modi warns of tough action against dishonest, announces sops

World Saturday 31/December/2016 20:26 PM
By: Times News Service
Modi warns of tough action against dishonest, announces sops

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday set out a stern warning of tough action against the "dishonest" people even as he announced a slew of sops for senior citizens, farmers, rural housing, women and small entrepreneurs to soften the blow of demonetisation.
He also assuaged the honest people that the government will act as a friend to them so that their difficulties are eased. Among the sops announced in his address to the nation at the end of 50-day demonetisation period, Modi said senior citizens will get 8 per cent interest on deposits of upto Rs 750,000 for 10 years and deposit of Rs6,000 into accounts of pregnant and lactating women in rural areas to meet medical expenses.
For farmers, he announced that banks will not charge interest for 60 days on loans taken from district cooperative central bank and primary societies for rabi crop. For construction or expansion of a rural house, 3 per cent interest will be waived on loan of upto Rs 200,000. Announcing two new schemes under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, he said 4 per cent interest subvention on loans upto Rs 900,000 and 3 per cent on loan upto Rs1.2 million.
"The law will take its course with full force. The government will help the honest and protect them and see their difficulties are eased. How honest will gain from the government. This government is a friend of good people and wants to build on the good environment for the people to return to goodness," he said.
Acknowledging that "serious offences" have been committed by some bank and government officials taking advantage of situation, he said "they will not be spared".
Modi said all concerned in the banks have been told to focus on reducing inconveniences posed by curbs on cash withdrawals since demonetisation. He however did not say when the restrictions on withdrawals will be lifted.
He said banks should also use the opportunity to break from break from traditional lending to prioritise their lending to poor and vulnerable sections.
Prime Minister asked political parties to move away from holier-than-thou attitude and come together to take some steps to ensure transparency and free politics of black money and corruption.
"We cannot allow this fight against black money or corruption to slow down," he said. He said time has come for a serious debate on breaking the endless cycle of elections and cutting down on administrative expenses by holding Parliamentary and Assembly elections simultaneously.
Modi also announced raising credit guarantees for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and concerting kisan credit card to rupay cards. "We cannot allow this fight against black money or corruption to slow down," he said.
Hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to the nation, BJP said the welfare measures announced by him were his way of thanking people for their unstinted support to demonetisation and will help the poor and boost economy. "The Prime Minister has congratulated people on having ensured that the world's largest drive against corruption and black money is a huge success. A series of welfare measures for women, senior citizens, farmers and middle classes are his way of thanking the people for their unstinted support," BJP spokesperson G. V. L. Narsimha Rao said.