Happy that my speeches are contributing nation's coffers, says Narendra Modi

Written by Avinash Nair | Gandhinagar | Updated: Feb 20 2014, 04:12am hrs
Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday critisised finance minister P. Chidambaram and the UPA government for trying to impose "service tax"on the money collected through sale of tickets in the political rallies addressed by him.

"Our Union minister has claimed that he is working hard. I was thinking, on what issue is he working so hard on. It is only last evening, I realised that an important decision has been taken to increase the revenue of the country.... Service tax will be imposed on Modi's speeches," said Modi while addressing a gathering of over 100 top officials of various national and private banks, as well as insurance companies.

"I have happy that my speeches are contributing to the nation's coffers," he said jocularly while speaking at a "national seminar" on "Financial Services- A Key Driver For Economic Growth' organised at the GIFT city project here.

The verbal spat between the two leaders had begun a few days ago when Modi mocked the Harvard University-educated Chidambaram by station the nation could be led by hard work and not by degrees from noted institutions.

Modi also called up on the leaders from the Banking Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) sector to invest in GIFT project. "If you all join us then the nation can be served better," he said.

"It is true that a stagnancy comes among investors before the elections in the country. Investors thinks let's see what happens. Let some clarity happen. In spite on this situation, I would call upon on all of you to continue to invest," he said.

Earlier in the day, Modi held a close door round table discussion with top officials of ICICI Bank, Bank of Baroda, State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, New India Assurance Co Ltd, General Insurance Company of India and others.

During the national seminar, Modi also presented allotment letters to State Bank of India, US-based World Trade Centre, Tata Communications, I-Plex and Global Group for investing a total of Rs 1000 crore in the GIFT city project in Gandhinagar.