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India's PM Modi announces incentives in New Year address

02 January 2017
India's PM Modi announces incentives in New Year address

The Government will help the honest and protect them and see their difficulties are eased.

In a bid to soften the demonetisation blow, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has rolled out several new schemes for the low and middle income groups, while thanking people for enduring the note-ban pain. Modi added, "In 2017, for up to 9 lakh loan, rebate of 4 per cent will be given; for up to a loan of 12 lakh, 3 per cent rebate will be given to the middle class and poor". Yes, it is expected that he will be speaking about how successful the government is in curbing corruption and black money due to the demonetization drive.

His statements come on the last day of the window for citizens to deposit the demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes at banks. The PM also unveiled some soaps for senior citizens, women and small entrepreneurs to soften the blow of demonetisation. "Surprisingly, Modi seems to have chose to fill that vacant slot with soporific lectures on black economy-that too by choosing a wrong day", said Saradindu Lahiri, a north Kolkata-based retired academician and a frequent visitor to Kolkata Coffee House adda. But in an unprecedented act, Prime Minister Narendra Modi elbowed his way into this vital annual celebration time of every Indian to address the nation. "The government has brought two schemes under PM Awas Yojana".

Four other things stood out in his speech, delivered first in Hindi and then in English, on the eve of the New Year.

RuPay cards: Thirty million kisaan credit cards will be converted into RuPay cards, said the PM. "This government is a friend of good people and wants to build on the good environment.", Modi said.

These doles are so varied and so munificent as to resurrect the mai-baap government of the UPA sort, which Modi and intellectual critics of the welfare state had scornfully trashed, in favour of "minimum government" that delivers "maximum governance".

Since the announcement that the old high-value bills were no longer legal tender, banks and cash machines saw massive lines of people. Besides, the app does not require internet connection to make digital transactions.

8% interest rate will be guaranteed on deposits of up to Rs 7.5 lakh for 10 years for senior citizens. Is PM Modi alert to the needs of India's post-60 individuals, retirees and pensioners?