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Narendra Modi launches India Post Payments Bank, claims Congress left nation's economy on landmine

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched the payments bank of the Indian postal department, which aims to take banking to every home through an "unmatched network of post offices and almost three lakh postmen and grameen dak sewaks".

 Narendra Modi launches India Post Payments Bank, claims Congress left nations economy on landmine

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the launch of India Post payments Bank. Twitter @BJP4India

India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) will operate like every other bank but on a smaller scale without the involvement of any credit risk. It will offer most banking features like accepting deposits, but cannot advance loans or issue credit cards.

The freshly-minted payments bank will accept deposits of up to Rs 1 lakh, offer remittance services, mobile payments/transfers/purchases and other banking services like ATM/debit cards, internet banking and third-party fund transfers.

While launching India Posts's payments bank, the prime minister said that bank and banking services will now be available at every doorstep. He also said that 1 September will be remembered for the launch of the post payments bank, which he said "will benefit common citizens".

Talking about the Jan Dhan Yojana, Modi said his government had made people reach banks through the scheme, but they are now making banks reach citizens' homes through IPPB. The prime minister said his government is working to reform, perform and transform old facilities.

The Indian postal service has around 1.5 lakh offices and three lakh postmen, Modi pointed out, adding that by connecting this vast network with technology, the government has taken the initiative to create the most powerful system of service in the 21st Century. He said IPPB will also prove helpful to farmers and strengthen schemes such as the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.

Several branches of India Post Payments Bank were inaugurated across the country on Saturday.

Allegations against the Congress-led UPA: The government has brought the country's banks to the doorstep of the poor, Modi said, adding that four to five years ago, a majority of the funds with banks were reserved only for those close to one family. He also targeted the government of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), saying that phone banking was not prevalent much in India back then but the "naamdars" had started giving loans over the phones. "Phone banking by the Congress" hurt the country and the economy because banks lent crores of rupees to businessmen with just one call, he added.

Modi also blamed the previous UPA government for the bad loans drowning the banking sector and claimed that his government will recover every penny given at the behest of the naamdars. Against the loans worth Rs 18 lakh crore given since Independence till 2008, the figure rose to an astronomical Rs 52 lakh crore in the six years thereafter, he alleged.

Banks lent crores of rupees against rules to businessmen referred by the naamdars, he alleged. "Knowing fully well that the loans will not be repaid, banks lent money on the orders of one family to a few," Modi said, adding that lenders were forced to restructure the debt when the borrowers defaulted on payments. He accused the previous UPA government of hiding the extent of non-performing assets (NPAs) in banks.

He further said that when the National Democratic Alliance came to power in 2014, the government realised that the Congress had left the nation's economy on a landmine. "Our government brought out the true picture of NPAs and the scam of the previous government."

Talking about the NPA crisis in the country, Modi said the NDA government had not granted a loan to a single big defaulter. In the past four years, every loan exceeding Rs 50 crore has been reviewed, and authorities have ensured that terms were strictly complied with, he added.

Modi also said that action has begun against 12 big loan defaulters, who were given loans before 2014.

He said that India had shown its best ever economic performance under his government, and the country had also secured a medal in terms of economic statistics. The prime minister said that GDP growth of 8.2 percent — the economic growth in the April-June period — was proof of India's development.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Sep 01, 2018 18:53:32 IST