Modi rubbishes govt-RBI rift talk, applauds Rajan
MAKING A POINT PM asks banks to lend more to farmers, to help save lives
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.
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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.