PM addresses RBI@90 opening ceremony

Published By : Admin | April 1, 2024 | 11:00 IST
Releases commemorative coin to mark 90 years of RBI
“RBI plays a pivotal role in advancing our nation's growth trajectory”
“RBI has witnessed both the pre and post-independence eras and has created an identity around the world based on its professionalism and commitment”
“Today we have reached a point where the Indian banking system is being seen as a strong and sustainable banking system of the world”
“Government has worked on the strategy of recognition, resolution and recapitalization”
“Steps like active price monitoring and fiscal consolidation kept inflation at a moderate level even during difficult times of Corona”
“Today, India is becoming the engine of global growth with 15 percent share in global GDP growth”
“RBI is the appropriate body for the holistic appreciation of the banking vision of Viksit Bharat”

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed the opening ceremony of RBI@90, a program marking 90 years of the Reserve Bank of India, in Mumbai, Maharashtra today. Shri Modi also released a commemorative coin to mark 90 years of RBI. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) commenced its operations on the 1st of April in 1935 and enters its 90th year today.

Addressing the occasion, the Prime Minister said that the Reserve Bank of India has reached a historic landmark today completing 90 years of existence. He underlined that the RBI has witnessed both the pre and post-independence eras and it has created an identity around the world based on its professionalism and commitment. The Prime Minister congratulated all staff on the completion of 90 years of the RBI. Deeming the present RBI staff as fortunate, the Prime Minister said that the policies drafted today will shape the next decade of RBI and noted that the next 10 years will take RBI to its centenary year. “The next decade is extremely important for the resolutions of a Viksit Bharat”, PM Modi said, highlighting the RBI’s priority towards fast-paced growth and focus on trust and stability. The Prime Minister also conveyed his best wishes for the fulfilment of its goals and resolutions.

Emphasizing the importance of coordination of monetary and fiscal policies in the GDP and the economy of the country, the Prime Minister recalled the 80-year celebration of RBI in 2014 and remembered the challenges and problems like NPA and stability faced by the banking system of the country at that time. He said that starting from there, today we have reached a point where the Indian banking system is being seen as a strong and sustainable banking system of the world as the near moribund banking system of that time is now in profit and showing record credit.

The Prime Minister credited clarity of policy, intentions and decisions for this transformation. “Where intentions are right, results too are correct”, said the Prime Minister. Speaking on the comprehensive nature of reforms, the Prime Minister stated that the government worked on the strategy of recognition, resolution and recapitalization. A capital infusion of 3.5 lakh crore was undertaken for the helping public sector banks along with many governance-related reforms. Just the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code has resolved loans amounting to 3.25 lakh rupees, the Prime Minister pointed out. He also informed the country that more than 27,000 applications involving underlying defaults of more than Rs 9 lakh crore were resolved even before admission under IBC. Gross NPAs of banks that stood at 11.25 percent in 2018 came down to below 3 percent by September 2023. He said that the problem of twin balance sheets is a problem of the past. PM Modi complimented RBI for their contribution to this transformation.

Prime Minister Modi pointed out that even though the discussions related to the RBI are often limited to financial definitions and complex terminologies, the work carried out at RBI directly makes an impact on the lives of common citizens. In the last 10 years, the Prime Minister said that the government has highlighted the connect between the central banks, banking systems and beneficiaries at the last queue and gave the example of financial inclusion of the poor. He mentioned that 55 percent of the 52 crore Jan Dhan accounts in the country belong to women. He also mentioned the impact of financial inclusion in the agriculture and fisheries sector where more than 7 crore farmers, fishermen and cattle owners have access to PM Kisan Credit Cards providing a significant push to the rural economy. Referring to the boost for the cooperative sector in the past 10 years, the Prime Minister threw light on the importance of regulations of the Reserve Bank of India regarding cooperative banks. He also mentioned more than 1200 crore monthly transactions via UPI making it a globally recognized platform. The Prime Minister also touched upon the work being done on Central Bank Digital Currency and said that the transformations of the past 10 years have enabled the creation of a new banking system, economy and currency experience.

The Prime Minister emphasized the importance of clarity for the targets of the next 10 years. He pointed out the importance of keeping an eye on the changes brought about by the cashless economy while promoting digital transactions. He also stressed the need for deepening financial inclusion and empowerment processes.

Stressing the diverse banking needs of a large country like India, the Prime Minister underlined the need to improve ‘ease of doing banking’ and provide tailor-made services as per the needs of the citizens. He underscored the role of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

He highlighted the role of RBI in speedy and sustainable growth of the country. Noting the achievement of RBI in infusing rule-based discipline and fiscally prudent policies in the banking sector, the Prime Minister also asked for advance estimation of the needs of various sectors to take proactive steps while assuring the banks of government’s support. The Prime Minister also mentioned inflation-controlling measures like giving the right of inflation targeting to the RBI and praised the performance of the Monetary Policy Committee in this regard. Steps like active price monitoring and fiscal consolidation kept inflation at a moderate level even during difficult times of Corona.

“Nobody can stop a country from progressing if its priorities are clear”, the Prime Minister emphasized. He gave the example of the government giving heed to financial prudence and prioritizing the lives of common citizens during the covid pandemic which led to the poor and middle class emerging out of the adversity and giving momentum to the country’s growth today. “The Indian economy is creating new records at a time when many countries in the world are still trying to recover from the economic shock of the pandemic”, the Prime Minister said. He underlined the role of RBI in taking India’s successes to the global level. Highlighting the importance of creating a balance between inflation control and growth for any developing country, PM Modi expressed confidence that RBI can become a model for this and play a leadership role in the world, thereby supporting the entire global south region.

Noting that India is the most youthful nation in the world today, the Prime Minister touched upon RBI playing a critical role in fulfilling the aspirations of the youth. He credited the policies of the government in the opening up of new sectors in the country thereby creating numerous opportunities for the youth of today. He gave the example of the expansion of the green energy sectors and mentioned solar energy, green hydrogen and ethanol blending. He also touched upon indigenously made 5G technology and rising exports in the defence sector. Speaking about MSMEs becoming a backbone of India’s manufacturing sector, the Prime Minister highlighted the implementation of the Credit Guarantee Scheme during the covid pandemic to support MSMEs. He stressed the RBI come up with out-of-the-box policies to ensure credit availability for the youth associated with the new sectors.

Stressing the importance of innovation in the 21st century, the Prime Minister asked to be prepared for the proposals that will come with regard to cutting-edge technologies with teams and identification of personnel for the task. He asked the bankers and regulators to be ready for the needs of new and traditional sectors like space and tourism. He mentioned the expert view that in the coming years, Ayodhya is going to become the biggest religious tourism center in the world.

The Prime Minister credited the work done by the government for financial inclusion and digital payments which has created transparency in the financial capacity of small businesses and street vendors. “This information must be used to financially empower them”, PM Modi stressed.

PM Modi also stressed increasing the economic self-reliance of India in the next 10 years so that the impact of global issues is mitigated. “Today, India is becoming the engine of global growth with 15 percent share in global GDP growth”, Shri Modi remarked. He emphasized the efforts to make Rupee more accessible and acceptable throughout the world. He also touched upon the rising trends of excessive economic expansion and increasing debt and pointed out the private sector debt of many countries has doubled their GDP. Debt levels of many countries are also creating a negative impact on the world, he said. The Prime Minister suggested RBI conduct a study on this keeping in mind the prospects and potential of India's growth.

PM Modi underlined the importance of a strong Banking industry for providing required funding to the projects of the nation. He noted the changes brought about by technologies like AI and BlockChain and noted the importance of cyber security in the growing digital banking system. He asked the audience to think about the required changes in the structure of the banking system in light of fin-tech innovation as new financing, operating and business models will be needed. “Meeting the credit needs of global champions to street vendors, of the cutting edge sectors to traditional ones is critical for Viksit Bharat and RBI is the appropriate body for the holistic appreciation of the banking vision of Viksit Bharat”, the Prime Minister concluded.

Governor of Maharashtra, Shri Ramesh Bains, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Eknath Shinde, Deputy Chief Ministers Shri Devendra Fadanvis and Shri Ajit Pawar, Union Finance Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, Ministers of State for Finance Shri Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad and Shri Pankaj Chaudhary, and RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das were present on the occasion.

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PM Modi's interview to News X
May 21, 2024

In an interview to News X, Prime Minister Modi addressed the issue of toxic language in elections, explained why the Opposition frequently discussed him, and shared his views on job creation. He criticized the Congress' tax plans and appeasement politics.

Rishabh Gulati: A very warm welcome to the viewers of NewsX and India News. I’m Rishabh Gulati and with me is Aishwarya Sharma of The Sunday Guardian and Rana Yashwant. In today’s special episode, we proudly welcome a renowned ‘rashtra sevak’, and the Prime Minister of India in this Amrit Kaal, Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi. Mr Prime Minister, you took the time to speak to us, we are very grateful.

Prime Minister: Namaskar, my warm greetings to all your viewers.

 

Rishabh Gulati: Mr Prime Minister, the first question that comes to mind is about the Opposition, and it seems that the biggest item on their poll agenda is Narendra Modi. Why, in your opinion, do they talk so much about Narendra Modi?

Prime Minister: To understand why they discuss Narendra Modi, we must first understand the Opposition. To understand them, one can examine the administration between 2004 and 2014.

The Opposition has not been able to play a strong role. Even as the Opposition, the way they are falling apart, they did not play a constructive role of any kind. Despite deep discussions, they haven’t been able to bring serious issues to the public attention. They thought that by their antics, taking up space in the media, they would be able to keep their boat afloat. Even in this election, I have seen that they make fresh attempts every day to acquire media space, be it by making videos, nonsensical statements, or behaving in a way that people don’t normally behave. So they do this to acquire space in the media. Now abusing Modi is one such antic, where, if nothing else, they are guaranteed publicity. Even a small-time politician, if he bad-mouths me, will get about an hour of media attention. Perhaps they see Modi as a ladder to climb up in their political career.

 

Aishwarya Sharma: Mr Prime Minister, the I.N.D.I. alliance is talking about wealth redistribution. Do you think this is possible, and will the voters of the country be influenced by such a scheme?

Prime Minister: You can’t examine this in isolation. You must look at their overall thought process. When their (Congress) manifesto was released, I had said the manifesto had the imprint of the Muslim League. There was a statement made by Dr Manmohan Singh… I had attended the meeting in which he said that ‘Muslims have the first right to India’s resources.’ Now when I raised this in public, their media ecosystem raised a storm saying that ‘Modi is lying,’. So two days later, I brought Manmohan Singh’s press conference forward and put it in front of them. Then they stopped talking. So this was one example. Now in their Manifesto, they have said that they will give reservation (to Muslims) even when allotting government contracts.

So today, when a bridge is to be built somewhere, what is the criteria for awarding the contract? The company bidding is evaluated based on how resourceful they are, their experience, their capability, their ability to deliver on time, all these things. Now they say that they want to give reservations to the minorities, to the Muslims, in this process as well. It all adds up. Now when they say that they will impose inheritance tax, it means that taxes that go to the government, who will stand to benefit from it? It’s the same people that Manmohan Singh ji talked about. If you join the dots, this is the logic that comes from it. How will the country accept this? Secondly, has any developing country in the world indulged in such madness? Today, India needs to work hard to rise above its problems. We have made this attempt and pulled 25 crore people out of poverty. Where there used to be a few hundred start-ups, there are now over 1.25 lakh start-ups, and there are Unicorns. You must go among the people and work with energy, and that will bring the right result.

 

Rana Yashwant: Mr Prime Minister, the Ram Mandir has been built in Ayodhya, the consecration of Ram Lalla took place and there was joy among the people. In all this, there is Iqbal Ansari, who has fought the legal battle, and is an important person. He comes, holding a placard that says ‘Modi ka Parivaar’. Today, the minority community identifies with your policies and welfare schemes. Your opinion?

Prime Minister: Since you’ve brought up Ram Mandir and Iqbal Ansari, I will narrate an incident. Ram Mandir should have been built right after Independence. In all these years, it wasn’t built because they (Congress) felt it would affect their vote bank. Attempts were made in the Courts till the very end to stop it. It is a fact that Congress hindered the building of the Ram Mandir. Despite this, when the Supreme Court judgment came through, the Court constituted a trust, and the trust members, let go of all past differences and went to invite the Congress Party members to the consecration ceremony. They rejected the invitation. The same people went to invite Iqbal Ansari. The ironic thing is, that Iqbal Ansari, who fought the Babri Masjid case his entire life, respected the Supreme Court’s verdict and attended the ‘Shilanyas’ and the ‘Pran Prathistha’ ceremony as well. This is what I think, as far as Iqbal Ansari is concerned.

Now if you want to talk about secularism, it is my very serious allegation, that for over 75 years, through a very well-crafted conspiracy, a false narrative has been fed to the nation. It has been embedded in the nation from before our birth. Sardar Patel was targeted by this narrative, and maybe, today it may be my turn, tomorrow someone else… Why do they cry out ‘secularism’ over and over again? It’s because they want to divert the world’s attention from their communal activities.

They cry ‘thief’ over and over when they have defrauded the people, and they do this because they think crying ‘thief’ will divert the public’s attention. This is their ploy. I have called them out in front of everyone, that they are the ones who are communal. India’s constitution does not allow you to indulge in such sectarian acts, and I have brought out several such examples, like I mentioned earlier that they called the Muslims the rightful inheritors of India’s wealth. I am exposing them. They (Congress) hide behind their politics of appeasement and instead accuse me of being communal. I am talking about those communal parties that wear the ‘nikab’ of secularism and indulge in hardcore communalism. I find three things common among these people. They are hardcore sectarians, they are extremely casteist, and they are hardcore dynasts. They are so full of these three things that they can’t come out of it.

 

Rishabh Gulati: Mr Prime Minister, you have spoken about lifting 25 crore people out of poverty. 80 crore poor people are receiving ration – it is necessary now and will be so in the future as well. What do you have to say about how crucial it will be in the future?

Prime Minister: When Manmohan Singh ji was the Prime Minister, news was rife with reports of food grains getting spoilt. So, the Supreme Court asked the government as to why the grains were not being distributed among the poor. Manmohan Singh ji, who was the Prime Minister then, stated on record that they could not distribute the grains and that it was impossible to do it. That is the consequence of his thinking. I faced the same issue, especially during COVID-19. My first goal was to ensure that a stove should be lit in every poor household. So, I started working on it. I have stated this for the next five years as well because in the lives of those who come out of poverty…

For example, one returns home from the hospital. The treatment has been done but precaution is necessary. A doctor advises you to take rest for a particular duration after returning home, tells you what to eat and what to refrain from consuming, and what to take care of. Why? The illness has already been addressed, but if anything is jeopardized then the condition of the person would return to what it was. That is why poor people who escape poverty need handholding. They should not return to that state in any condition. Once they escape poverty, they should be empowered to stand strong. In my understanding, in the next five years, those who have escaped poverty should be able to firmly stand on their feet. Any unfortunate incident in their family, should not push them to poverty again. And only then will the country eradicate poverty.

 

Aishwarya Sharma: Mr Prime Minister, our country is the youngest country. Under your tenure, 10 lakh government jobs have been filled. Now, the Opposition has vowed to fill 30 lakh government jobs. In your third term, how do you plan to boost employment opportunities for the youth?

Prime Minister: You must have read the SKOCH report that was released. I hope your TV channel studies the SKOCH report in detail and conducts a TV debate on this. They have analysed some 20 to 22 schemes of the government. They have published statistics about how many person-year-hours have been obtained. They have revealed how many hours it takes to build 4 crore houses and how many people it employs. They have published data for about 22 different parameters.

They have stated that 50 crore people have accrued benefits. Secondly, we brought the Mudra Yojana. We give bank loans without any guarantee. We have disbursed loans worth Rs 23 Lakh Crore. 80% of those who have received these loans are first-timers. Some have started their businesses and have employed a few people in this process. Start-ups used to be in the thousands and now they are in lakhs. People have been employed in this process, right? Consider that a 1000-kilometre road is being built and think about how many jobs are created. So, if a 2000-kilometre road is being built more people will be employed, right? Today, road and rail construction has doubled, electrification has doubled, and mobile towers are reaching every corner of India. All this is being created by people who have received jobs. That is why a lie is being peddled.

 What’s important is that we must move towards creating jobs for ourselves. The youth in this country are in the mood to do something and be productive and we must help them. We must encourage them. Our Mudra Yojana does exactly that. We also run the SVANidhi scheme. There are countless street hawkers, who are poor people. But today, they are taking money from the bank to run their businesses. Due to this, they can save money and expand their business. Earlier, a street hawker would sit on the footpath and now his goal is to buy a lorry. One who would owned a lorry earlier now wishes to provide home delivery services. Their aspirations are rising. This is why I believe that while people receive the benefits of government schemes, which will eventually result in development, we must also focus on several other areas.

 

Rana Yashwant: Prime Minister, your government works on the principle of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’. Beneficiaries avail welfare schemes without any discrimination – caste, religion, or community. Yet, the Opposition maintains that Muslims do not accrue the same benefits from these welfare schemes.

Prime Minister: You are the first person from whom I’ve heard this. The unique aspect of my government, in terms of delivering welfare schemes, has not raised any questions regarding discrimination.

 

Rana Yashwant: The Opposition has to say this.

Prime Minister: Even the Opposition does not say this. You are the first person from whom I’ve heard this. I have never heard this from anybody because everyone knows… and Muslims themselves say that they receive all benefits.

The primary reason is that I have two principles. First, 100% saturation. For example, if poor people must be given houses, complete delivery must take place. If 100% delivery is the goal, then where does the scope of discrimination even arise? Whether it is providing gas connections, building toilets, ensuring tap water connections, I believe in 100% delivery. Yes, some people will receive the benefits in January, some in April and some in November, but the scheme will apply to all and 100%. I believe that true secularism is when 100% delivery is done. Social justice is when 100% is done. So, if my mission is 100% saturation… and nobody has made this charge yet. They don’t have the courage to say it. I have lived in Gujarat as well, and on this topic, nobody can prop up any charges against me.

 

Rishabh Gulati: Mr Prime Minister, you have taken out time to sit with us and relay your ‘Mann Ki Baat’. Thank you so much. Best of luck for the polls ahead.

Prime Minister: I thank you all. I have been campaigning day and night…

 

Rana Yashwant: You are constantly on the move. We see you morning until night on the run…

Rishabh Gulati: Today, you had a big rally at 8 in the morning.

Prime Minister: I started my day at 6 am and went to Jagannath Puri temple to offer my prayers. Since then I have been traveling and have at last got time to meet you.

 

Rana Yashwant: Where ever you go, Jagannath or Kashi, there is a sea of people that comes to greet you. You have experienced it yourself.

Prime Minister: I realise that my responsibilities are now increasing. I also see that the public has taken ownership of elections. Political parties are not fighting the elections. The public has taken ownership of this election. And the results will be as desired by the public.

Thank you!