Poor are central focus of government’s economic agenda: Modi

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New Delhi, June 27 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the poor are the central focus of his government’s economic agenda and the have-nots should be made strong so that they become partners in defeating poverty.

“The poor are the central focus of my economic agenda. The poor should be strengthened in such a way that they get the willingness to defeat poverty. By helping the poor make ends meet while they remain in poverty is also one of the ways. I am not saying right or wrong but it’s one of the ways. But today the country’s situation is such that we should make the poor strong so that they become partners in defeating poverty,” Modi said in an interview to TimesNow news channel.

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The National Democratic Alliance government, which has completed two years, has rolled out a host of schemes for the upliftment of the poor — Jan Dhan Yojna for financial inclusion, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna for crop insurance, Swachh Bharat, Skill India and Make In India.

All these schemes are meant to empower the poor and change the quality of life.

“The first point is our philosophy is to reach the last man in the line. Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay’s philosophy forms the core of our political, economic and social ideology. And even Mahatma Gandhi used to say that what is there for the last man? So, my development parameter is very simple. It is about how the poorest of the poor can benefit from development,” the Prime Minister said.

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Modi said the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna is not only about opening bank accounts for the poor. By opening an account and entering the bank premises, the poor are feeling that they are becoming a part of the country’s economic system, which brings about a psychological transformation.

“Looked at in another way, did you ever imagine that Rs 40,000 crore could be injected into the banking system by contributions from the poor? The poor who never had bank accounts, have deposited 100 rupees, 50 rupees or 200 rupees. It means that poor man saved 100 rupees and the change began in his life.”

Talking about the young India and its aspirations, Modi said: “So, another aspect of my policies you must have seen are the Start Up India, Stand Up India, Seaport activity, port activity, railways expansion, railway station upgradation. These changes directly appeal to the middle class.”

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