Focus on poor, small businesses: 5 highlights of PM Modi’s New Year’s eve speech | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Focus on poor, small businesses: 5 highlights of PM Modi’s New Year’s eve speech

india Updated: Jan 01, 2017 10:55 IST
HT Correspondent
Modi's speech

Workers watch Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s televised speech on New Year’s eve at their workshop in New Delhi.(Arun Sharma/HT Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a slew of initiatives for the economically backward, including two new housing schemes, and credit for small businesses and farmers.

Assuring that the ruling National Democratic Alliance was a friend of the honest, Modi announced the initiatives after praising citizens for bearing with the hardships of demonetisation.

In his 43-minute speech, the Prime Minister also said his government’s focus in 2017 would be to bring the banking system to normal at the earliest.

Read: Modi speech: Housing for poor, Rs 6000 for pregnant women, sops for small businesses

Here are the top initiatives he announced:

For rural poor

• Home loans in villages up to Rs 2 lakh to get 3% interest exemption, available for building a new house or expanding an old one.

• 33% more homes to be built in rural areas under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY).

• 30 million Kisan credit cards will be converted into RuPay cards.

• The government will pay interest for 60 days on loans taken by farmers for Rabi farming from district cooperative banks and societies.

• The government will give Nabard Rs 20,000 crore for giving loans to cooperatives at low interest rates.

For the urban poor

• Home loans for the urban poor up to Rs. 9 lakh will get 4% interest subvention, and loans up to Rs. 12 lakh will get 3%.

For small businessmen

• The credit guarantee for micro, small and medium enterprises will be doubled to Rs 2 crore. This will also cover loans from NBFCs.

• Banks told to raise cash credit limit to small businesses from 20% to 25%.

For senior citizen

• 8% interest on deposits of up to Rs 7.5 lakh for senior citizens for 10 years.

To decrease deaths during childbirth

• The government to give pregnant women Rs 6,000, to be transferred into their bank accounts.

Portends

• Modi says the government cares about honest tax payers, who stand to benefit. But he also warned tax cheats against strong action. “This government is a friend of the honest and in favour of putting the dishonest in the path of truth.”