Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to uplift the conditions of the poor and said earlier only “hollow speeches” were made about eradication of poverty, a veiled attack on previous Congress-led governments. “In the past, only slogan of ‘garibi hatao’ (coined by Indira Gandhi Government in early 1970s) was given, but no real work was done on the ground.
“Speeches then focused on removing poverty. However, mere speeches are not enough to eradicate poverty and benefits of welfare schemes should reach the last person in the queue,” Fadnavis said. “If anybody in the country has done the work of giving rights to the last person, it is Modi and no one else,” he said.
Fadnavis was speaking at a function organised to distribute loans to the needy under the NDA Government’s ‘Mudra’ scheme in Thane on Sunday morning. He said various programmes such as ‘Jan Dhan’ and ‘Mudra’ launched by the Prime Minister were directed towards financial empowerment and inclusion of citizens.
“Even now around five crore families in the country do not have LPG gas stoves,” he said, adding in the next three years all of them will be brought under a Central scheme that aims to provide access to clean cooking fuel, specially rural households. Fadnavis said around 60 per cent population in the country still does not bank accounts and efforts were on to bring them under the ambit of financial inclusion.
He said the youth in the country were not a liability but an asset and the Government programmes were directed towards them. The tendency of the banks is to give loans to big borrowers and industries and ignore the small ones. But the Mudra scheme is directed towards helping the small businesses get access to institutional credit, the Chief Minister said. While distributing loans under the Mudra scheme to around 4,600 beneficiaries, the CM advised them to use it for the purpose it was meant for and not anything else.