PM Modi launches 3 social security schemes

The three schemes launched will come into force from June 1

Kolkata: Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched three social security schemes, including a Rs 1 per day insurance cover, and said that the poor need empowerment, not aid. Mr Modi chose to launch the schemes in the presence of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the first day of his visit to the state. The Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Atal Pension Yojana form part of the government’s Jan Suraksha programme.

Mr Modi said Rs 15,800 crore had been deposited in the 15 crore Jan Dhan accounts opened in four months and the scheme to provide cooking gas subsidy directly into bank accounts of beneficiaries has helped stop pilferages and leakages worth hundreds of crores of rupees.

“I told the poor, this nation, this government and our banks are for you... poor do not want ‘sahara’. We need to change how we think. The poor need ‘shakti’,” he said. While the three schemes will come into force from June 1, Mr Modi said that in the first seven days of the trial run, banks had enrolled 5.05 crore people, including 42 lakh from West Bengal.

Later, sending a strong message of the Centre’s cooperation with states, Mr Modi said Ms Banerjee could trust him in boosting the economy of the state. He affirmed sharing her concerns, which, according to him, were natural. Mr Modi’s comments came on Saturday when he launched three social security schemes. The two leaders were seen speaking to each other repeatedly. Speaking at the event before Mr Modi, the Chief Minister complained about the absence of banks at the panchayat level in the state.

Highlighting her government’s achievements in the last four years, she urged the Centre to ensure the expansion of banks in each panchayat. “Out of around 3,500 panchayats, not even 1,000 come under the cover of the banking network. I request the government of India to make sure that each panchayat is covered by the banking network," Ms Banerjee said. She then called for a joint effort by the state and the Centre in the nation’s development and wished success to the Modi government’s grand project for the unorganised sector.

Replying to her, Mr Modi, in his address, did not find any fault with the Trinamul government. He said, “The Chief Minister just mentioned that banks do not exist in the villages. This is the account of the past 60 years.”Expressing his support to Ms Banerjee, the Prime Minister pointed out, “Her pain is quite natural. I am lending my voice to it.”

In a confident mood, Mr Modi then explained, “But she placed her concerns before me because she has the faith that if anyone can address them, then it is me.” Mr Modi’s observations assume importance as political observers feel that he tried to give the impression of his government’s willingness of cooperation keeping an eye on the Assembly elections scheduled to be held in the state next year.The Prime Minister, however, described himself as a non-political individual who does not launch any scheme to garner votes. Recalling the glorious days industry and culture in West Bengal, he also paid tribute to Rabindranath Tagore on the occasion of his birth anniversary.

Stating that it is a misconception that large industrial houses provide more jobs, Mr Modi said about 5.5 crore small and medium entrepreneurs provide employment to more than 14 crore people. “We can achieve whatever but if the fruits do not reach the poor, our development journey is incomplete... we are calling the world to make in India and at the same time we are opening bank accounts for the poor,” he said. The Prime Minister also urged people to pay small premiums towards insurance schemes for their domestic helps, drivers, and liftmen, among others.

( Source : dc correspondent with agency inputs )
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