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Mudra Yojana hasn’t grown the way I wanted: Modi

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that the pace of enrolment for the Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY) to help small entrepreneurs had not picked up the way he expected it to.

“Though the MUDRA (Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency) Yojana is in place to help small entrepreneurs, the speed at which I want to go with it has not been attained,” Modi said in his Mann Ki Baat address on All India Radio.

“But the beginning is good. So far about 66 lakh people have benefited … with Rs.42,000 crore spent. I am happy to announce that out of 66 lakh people, some 24 lakh are women,” he said.

“And the majority of these beneficiaries are from among the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Other Backward Class, people who stand up and themselves take responsibility to take care of their families.

“…PMMY funds the unfunded and is thus focused on empowering people in the true sense,” he said.

“It provides a boost to three Es – Enterprises, Earning and Empowerment. The scheme encourages enterprises, provides the opportunity for earning, and in the truest sense empowers people. It is helping small entrepreneurs.”

“The scheme is trying to help small workers such as barbers, laundrymen, milkmen, newspaper vendor…”

The prime minister said: “I got to know of Mamta Sharma from Bhopal, who got Rs.40,000 from the MUDRA Yojana.

“She is now running a business of making wallets. She would make wallets earlier too but she would have a lot of problems because of heavy interest rates,” he said.

The PMMY, under the MUDRA Bank, has been created for the development and refinancing of micro units.

(IANS)

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As The Election Nears, India’s Opposition Promises Several Economic Steps

Modi said at the Delhi convention that the opposition was working on a "desperate alliance," while the BJP would give a "strong government."

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Rahul Gandhi, Election
Rahul Gandhi, president of India's main opposition Congress Party, speaks at a rally ahead of October's 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Jan. 11, 2019. VOA

India’s main opposition Congress Party will simplify the goods and services tax (GST) and make “rational economic decisions” to attract foreign investment if voted back to power in a general election due by May, leader Rahul Gandhi said Saturday.

Launched in 2017, the GST was initially hailed as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s biggest economic reform as it replaced more than a dozen federal and state levies and unified Asia’s third-largest economy.

But its chaotic implementation and complexities — months after a shock ban by Modi on high-value bank currency aimed at unearthing untaxed wealth — badly hurt small businesses and led to millions of job losses in the cash-driven economy, presenting the biggest challenge to Modi’s re-election chances.

India,India, elections, BJP
India’s Congress party President Rahul Gandhi displays documents in New Delhi, India. VOA

 

Gandhi, scion of India’s Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, said during a visit to Dubai that foreign investment was at a multiyear low in India because of the “ill-advised and badly thought out economic moves” such as the currency ban and a “poorly designed GST.”

Quick growth promised

“We will take some rational economic decisions,” he told a press conference, which was broadcast live on Twitter. “We will restructure the GST and we will embrace investments from the Middle East and other parts of the world. We are the party of [India’s economic] liberalization; we are the party that gave the fastest economic growth in the first decade of the century, and will do that again.”

He said his main priority would be to create jobs, simplify the GST, rebuild confidence in institutions such as the Reserve Bank of India — whose governor resigned recently after a fight over autonomy with the government, and the Supreme Court.

Modi, election
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, center, is garlanded by BJP leaders on the first day of the two-day Bharatiya Janata Party national convention in New Delhi, Jan. 11, 2019. VOA

 

Four Supreme Court judges held a rare press conference early last year, saying that “unless this institution is preserved and it maintains its equanimity, democracy will not survive in this country.”

Modi told a BJP convention in New Delhi on Saturday that for Congress “every institution was wrong and only they were right.”

The Congress press conference was organized by the Indian Overseas Congress, which is present in about 35 countries, as Gandhi tries to reach out to rich Indians living abroad for funds and social media support for the party that has dominated the country’s politics for decades before being nearly decimated in the last general election in 2014 by Modi.

But back home, Gandhi received a jolt when bitter rivals, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP), announced an election tie-up without Congress in Uttar Pradesh state, which sends the highest number of lawmakers to the lower house of parliament.

Narendra Modi, India, election
Elaborate preparations for PM’s election rally. VOA

“The BSP and SP have made a political decision,” Gandhi said. “It’s on us on how to strengthen the Congress Party in Uttar Pradesh and we will fight with our full capacity. Whether we do or their alliance does, the BJP is not winning there.”

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Modi said at the Delhi convention that the opposition was working on a “desperate alliance,” while the BJP would give a “strong government.”

The Hindu nationalist BJP lost power in three key states recently, forcing the government to announce a flurry of measures to woo small businesses and the less well-off since then. (VOA)