PM Modi announces cheap home loan for poor, relief for farmers, small businesses



· Farmers' credit cards will be converted to RuPay cards in next 3 months

· Pregnant women in 650 districts to receive Rs 6,000 for vaccination and pre-natal care

·Modi set out a stern warning to the "dishonest people"


NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced a host of new schemes for various sections of society even as he urged the people to continue supporting the government in the fight against corruption and black money.

In his televised address on the eve of New Year, his first since the surprise November 8 announcement, PM Modi offerered relief to the poor, middle class, small businesses, farmers, senior citizens and pregnant women.

PM Modi set out a stern warning of tough action against the "dishonest" people even as he assuaged the honest people that the government will act as a friend to them so that their difficulties are eased.

Under the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, those belonging to the poor, lower middle and middle classes in cities will be eligible to four per cent discount on housing loans upto Rs 9 lakh. Loans of upto Rs 12 lakh will receive interest subvention of 3 per cent, PM Modi announced.

For the benefit of small traders, the credit guarantee scheme for small, medium and micro enterprises (SME) will be enhanced for loans up to Rs 2 crore.

"We have decided to enhance the credit guarantee scheme (credit guarantee fund for micro units development refinance agency or MUDRA) for small business so that they can access more funds to fulfil their growth potential," the Prime Minister said in his address to the nation.

Highlighting the six per cent increase in sowing during the last season, Modi declared that the government will bear 60 days' interest incurred on farmer loans. This amount will be directly transferred to the farmers' bank accounts.

"In the last few weeks, an impression was sought to be created that agriculture sector has been destroyed. Farmers themselves have given a fitting reply to those who were doing so," the Prime Minister said.

Furthermore, 3 crore farmers' credit cards will be converted to RuPay cards in the next 3 months for ease of buying and selling at any time.

Nabard will be given an additional Rs 20,000 crore to finance district cooperative banks and societies..