Is Prime Minister Narendra Modi set to spring another surprise (read: shock!) on New Year’s eve, that is December 31? PM Modi will address the nation at 7:30 PM and speculations are rife about what the Prime Minister will say this time. While it is said that Indians have a short term memory, we believe that PM Modi’s November 8 address to the country will easily go down as one of the most remembered speeches by an Indian Prime Minister. Prime Minister Narendra Modi it seems has the penchant for addressing the nation, making announcements, and in short sending everyone into a tizzy with his ‘out-of-the-box’ decisions. If ‘demonetisation’ of old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes was not enough, we wonder what PM Modi has up his sleeve this time???
MoS Home Kiren Rijiju may just have dropped a very big hint on Twitter! Rijiju has tweeted a video that hints at a further crackdown on black money hoarders. At least that’s the inference that we draw after reading his tweet and watching the video. Kiren Rijiju tweeted, “2017, good news is pure BJP Govt formed in Arunachal Pradesh but more bad news coming 4 corrupt & people involved in Black Money laundering.”
The video is a famous Amitabh Bachchan movie dialogue in which the actor is seen saying, “Meri baat dhyaan se suniye…mujhe andar se khabar mili hai ki saal ke khatam hote hote, sarkaar ka raviya kuch aisa hone wala hai ki kisi bhi kaale dhande ko sar chupane ki jagah nahi milegi (Listen to me carefully. My sources have told me that by the end of the year, the government’s attitude will be such, that no black money maker will be able to get away).”
But others expect Modi to deliver a round-up speech on demonetisation, now that 50 days are over. As the nation awaits to see what PM Modi has to say to his ‘Mitron’, we take a look at 5 possible points that may feature on his agenda:
1) Increase in withdrawal limits from ATMs and banks: Dear PM Modi, we are tired of standing in queues, really! Be nice to people, give them this wonderful New Year 2017 gift. Yes, please hike the withdrawal limit, better still ask banks to start giving people their rightful Rs 24,000! The situation has admittedly eased in 50 days, there is little doubt about that. Yet, many banks are still allowing customers to withdraw only Rs 10,000 at a time, as against Rs 24,000. That’s the first important thing that needs to be addressed.
2) Sops for cashless transactions: This one seems likely since the focus of the entire demonetisation drive (apart from black money and fake currency crackdown) has been to move India towards a ‘less-cash’ economy. Through Digi Dhan Melas and contests, the Modi government is already promoting and pushing people to adopt digital means of financial transactions. The Prime Minister may announce yet another set of tax sops.
3) Further crackdown on black money: In his December 25 ‘Mann Ki Baat’, PM Modi had said that the law against ‘Benami Property’ would soon become operational. “You are possibly aware of a Law about Benami Property in our country which came into being in 1988, but neither were its rules ever framed nor was it notified. It just lay dormant gathering dust. We have retrieved it and turned it into an incisive law against ‘Benami Property’. In the coming days, this law will also become operational. For the benefit of the Nation, for the benefit of the people, whatever needs to be done will be accorded our top priority,” he had said. A lot of sceptics had said that most of the country’s black money is in the form of real estate, instead of cash. PM Modi may announce this crackdown to come down hard on black money hoarders.
4) Summing up the aftermath of demonetisation: In a bid to silence the growing din from the Opposition and his critics, PM Modi may decide to explain to the common man how the whole drive has benefited the country. While people are divided on the gains from the whole drive, there is near unanimous opinion that the move could have been planned and implemented better, ensuring less pain to the common man. If PM Modi is able to comprehensively sum up what the entire demonetisation drive has achieved, he may reduce the anguish of people for sure.
5) Happy New Year! Oh yes, even as all of us wait with bated breath on the next ‘bombshell’ from the Prime Minister, he may have a good laugh by simply wishing everyone a Happy New Year!
With PM Modi it doesn’t pay to speculate, for he has a tendency of pulling a rabbit out of the hat! Let’s just hope that whatever he announces or says brings in ‘acche din’ for India in the years to come.