Bank accounts now with 70 crore Indians: Modi 

New Delhi, Aug 15 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said some 70 crore people untouched by any form of financial inclusion today had bank accounts, thanks to the scheme he announced exactly a year ago.

Addressing the nation on India’s 69th Independence Day, the prime minister said these bank accounts have also fetched deposits of Rs.20,000 crore, even though the Jan Dhan scheme calls for zero balance banks so that the poor are not deprived of access to the baking system.

“For the poor, the doors of banks were closed. I said this has to change. We wanted to strengthen financial inclusion,” the prime minister said. “Bank accounts are essential for integrating the poor into the financial system. That’s what we have done.”

As regards the deposits of Rs.20,000 crore in these bank accounts, the prime minister said: “If this richness of the poor was not there, such a feat would no have been possible.”

Modi said no person wants to remain poor and those who live in poverty want to move away to achieved a better quality of life. “That is why, all our programmes must be for the poor.”

17 crore bank accounts opened: Modi

New Delhi, Aug 15 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that 17 crore bank accounts have been opened under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana and Rs.20,000 crore deposited under it.

In his second Independence Day address from the ramparts of the Red Fort, Modi also said the poison of casteism and communalism should be countered with nectar of development.

He said that the government had achieved the target set for financial inclusion of the poor by this year’s Republic Day.

Recalling that he had announced the Jan Dhan Yojana in his Independence Day speech last year, Modi said the doors for financial inclusion had virtually been closed for the poor.

He said the scheme was time-bound with no scope of dilly-dallying.

Modi said he had seen the “richness of the poor” as they had deposited Rs.20,000 crore under it despite option of having zero bank balance. “I bow to them,” Modi said.

“Opening 17 crore bank accounts is a difficult task. I congratulate the bank staff,” Modi said.

He said unity, simplicity and harmony were treasures for the country and these should never be allowed to get tainted.

“Be it casteism or communalism there is no place for them. In no way can they be tolerated,” Modi said.

“If the unity is destroyed, the dreams will also shatter. The poison of casteism, and communalism should not be allowed to bloom,” he said.

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