PM Narendra Modi on Saturday launched the India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) at Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi. The IPPB will enable money transfer, transfer of government benefits, bill payments and other services such as investment and insurance. Under the initiative, the postmen would deliver these services at the doorstep. The prime minister also said that IPPB will facilitate digital transactions, and help deliver the benefits of schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, which provide assistance to farmers.
While delivering his speech, Modi narrated an interesting tale of how he could never manage to maintain a permanent bank account due to non-availability of enough money till he became an MLA in the Gujarat Assembly.
“You will be surprised to know but I had no relation with a bank account in my entire lifetime, however, when we used to study in school, there was a scheme from Dena Bank, they use to give a gullak (piggy bank) to children and open their account,” Modi said.
“They also gave it to me (piggy bank). Later, I moved out of village, but the account was still functional. The bank had to carry forward the account every year,” he added.
“There was no news about my whereabouts. After 32 years, they got to know where I was. The poor people from the bank came and said please sign, we have to close your account. However, when I became an MLA for Gujarat I started receiving salary. So, I had to open an account for that,” Modi said.
Modi also launched a scathing attack on the Congress for leaving the economy on a ‘landmine’ by its indiscriminate lending, saying loans were handed out to select businessmen after phone calls were made by ‘namdars’ (dynasts). The prime minister blamed ‘phone-a-loan’ scam of the previous UPA regime where money was lent by banks to select rich businessmen close to a particular family.