Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched a blistering attack on the previous Congress- led UPA regime, saying that banks were pressured to give loans worth thousands of crores of rupees to select industrialists in a scam bigger than 2G, coal and Commonwealth Games scams. Speaking at the 90th AGM of industry association Ficci, Modi said the non performing asset (NPA) or bad loans problem is a “liability” handed over by “economists” in the previous regime. Hard-selling his government’s pro-poor policies, he listed out initiatives like free cooking gas connections to women, bank accounts to every household, loans to the youth and affordable housing, taken since 2014. Modi said loans extended to select industrialists by pressuring banks was a loot of public money. Calling it a “scam”, he said this was bigger than the Commonwealth Games, 2G telecom spectrum allocation and coal block allocation scams. Modi said his government is formulating policies keeping in mind the need of businesses, abolishing archaic and obsolete laws.
Industry, he said, had been long demanding Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the BJP-led government implemented it and introduced measures like anti-profiteering to see that industry passes on the benefit of lower taxes to the people. More than 30 crore poor have got bank accounts under the Jan Dhan Yojana, Modi said, adding that a study has found that inflation had come down in rural areas where such accounts have been opened. He said 87 important reforms in sectors including in defence, financial sector and food processing have been taken up in the last three years.
The government has attempted to frame policies keeping in mind the aspirations and needs of the people, he said. More than 3 crore women have been given free cooking gas LPG connection. After this, fuel inflation has dropped in rural areas, he said. “We are trying to solve problems of poor after identifying their problems”, he said. Under the Mudra scheme, over Rs 4 lakh crore guarantee- less loans have been given to about 9.75 lakh youth for business, leading to 3 crore new entrepreneurs being created since launch, he said.