GS Paper I -poverty & developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

New Year gift for farmers, small traders, women from PM Narendra Modi

What’s Happening-
Announcing incentives for farmers, the poor, small businessmen, women and the elderly.
Prime Minister   warned the “dishonest” of tough action and said his “government is a friend of good people” and will “protect the common man, help the honest and isolate the dishonest”.

Key Points discussed were:

  • Modi said two new middle income categories have been created under the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana in urban areas. Loans up to Rs 9 lakh taken in 2017 will receive interest subvention of 4 per cent while loans up to Rs 12 lakh will receive interest subvention of 3 per cent.
  • The number of houses being built for the poor, under the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana in rural areas, is being increased by 33 per cent.
  • Another scheme, he said, is being put in place for the neo middle and middle class in rural areas. Loans up to Rs 2 lakh taken in 2017 for new housing or extension of housing in rural areas will receive an interest subvention of 3 per cent.

Farmers:

  • Rabi sowing, he said, was up by 6 per cent compared to last year. Fertiliser offtake too was up by 9 per cent.
  • armers who have taken loans for the Rabi crop from district cooperative central banks and primary societies will not have to pay interest on such loans for a period of 60 days.
  • Farmers who paid interest during the last two months will receive the amount back in their bank accounts.
  • The government has decided that 3 crore farmers who have Kisan Credit Cards will be given RuPay debit cards within three months.

Women:

  • Introducing a nationwide scheme for financial assistance to pregnant women. Rs 6,000 will be transferred directly to the bank accounts of pregnant women who undergo institutional delivery and vaccinate their children. This scheme will help reduce the maternal mortality rate in a big way.

scheme for senior citizens:

  • “Banks often reduce their deposit rates, when they receive a large volume of money. This should not adversely impact senior citizens. Under the scheme, senior citizens will receive a fixed interest rate of 8 per cent for a period of 10 years, on deposits upto Rs 7.5 lakh. The interest will be paid monthly.”

Background-
Thanking the country for backing the demonetisation announcement, Modi said: “It is historic that both the people and the government are on the same side in this battle against evil.
According to information with the government, there are only 24 lakh people in India who accept that their annual income is more than 10 lakh rupees.

Incentives for small and medium businesses:
Government of India underwrites loans given by banks to small businesses through a trust.
So far, loans were covered up to Rs 1 crore.
This limit is now being enhanced to Rs 2 crore. Earlier, the scheme only covered bank loans.
Hereafter, it will cover loans given by NBFCs as well.

Sources- The Indian Express, The Hindu, MEA.