Modi rub­bishes govt-RBI rift talk, applauds Ra­jan

MAK­ING A POINT PM asks banks to lend more to farm­ers, to help save lives

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent [email protected]­dus­tan­times.com

MUMBAI: Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi dis­missed on Thurs­day mur­murs about grow­ing dif­fer­ences be­tween the gov­ern­ment and the Re­serve Bank of In­dia (RBI), and heaped praise on gover­nor Raghu­ram Ra­jan for be­ing “per­fect” in ex­plain­ing com­plex eco­nomic is­sues.

Modi, who was speak­ing at a func­tion to mark 80 years of the RBI, also asked banks to lend more to farm­ers, to help stop poor debt-rid­den agri­cul­tur­ists from com­mit­ting sui­cides.

He asked the RBI to for­mu­late a 20-year fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion plan, and urged it to use In­dian pa­per and ink to print cur­rency notes.

“Can’t we ask our­selves how we can make our bank­ing sys­tem so strong that no farmer is forced to give up his life just be­cause he can’t re­pay the loan [from money lenders]?” Modi said. Farm­ers’ plight should “shake the con­science” of the bank­ing sec­tor.

“Our farm­ers com­mit sui­cide. The pain of this should not only be re­stricted to news­pa­pers and TV screens. When farmer dies, does it shake the heart of bank­ing sec­tor? Be­cause of tak­ing loan from money lender, he has to face death,” Modi said.

The PM’s re­marks come amid se­vere dam­age to crops caused by an un­sea­sonal spell of hail­storms across sev­eral states that has dev­as­tated ripen­ing win­ter­sown crops and de­layed har­vests.

“We have to change mind­sets. We have to think on ways to in­clude the poor as we move for­ward,” Modi said in the event along­side Ra­jan, fi­nance min­is­ter Arun Jait­ley and Ma­ha­rash­tra CM Deven­dra Fad­navis.

CON­TIN­UED ON P8

PTI PHOTO

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi, chief min­is­ter Deven­dra Fad­navis and RBI gover­nor Raghu­ram Ra­jan at the 80th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion of the cen­tral bank, in Mumbai on Thurs­day.

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