Prime Minister Modi’s Mann Ki Baat address: 10 key quotes

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In his first month radio address Mann ki Baat since the ban on currency of high denomination, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today reiterated that it will take 50 days for the cash crunch to be over and the situation to normalise. He also appealed to the youth to learn about cashless transactions, saying it was “no more difficult than WhatsApp”.

“Everyone has asked me to speak in detail on the Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes. I repeat what I told earlier, it will take 50 days to completely imbibe the change,” PM Modi  said.

But meanwhile, young people, who were the agents of change, should take the initiative to usher in a cashless society, he said. They should take to online transactions which are safe and secure and instruct others around them, especially the elderly on the processes to book tickets and make purchases online. The men and women in small businesses should understand the time was right for them to enter the digital world, he added.

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday warned people who he said were using the poor to bring back black money into the system and made it clear the guilty will be punished.

“Some people think they can convert their black money into white. And are looking at unlawful ways. It’s unfortunate they have chosen to use poor people for this,” Modi said in his 26th edition of his radio talk “Mann ki Baat”.

“I want to say that it is up to them to abide by the law or break it, it is up to them if they want to correct themselves. The law will deal with them. But please don’t play with the lives of poor,” Modi said.

He warned that people should not convert their black money into white by using the poor people and put them into trouble.

The Prime Minister’s remarks came amid reports that many people were trying to convert their black money into white by using the bank accounts, including Jan Dhan accounts, of the poor.

Aggregate deposits in Jan Dhan accounts have increased to Rs 64,252 crore in the first week after the government’s November 8 demonetisation of high-value currency.

The Prime Minister also expressed confidence that India would shine like gold following the government’s decision to demonetise high value currency that would curb unaccounted wealth in the country.

“Just like gold we will emerge glowing from this fire. The main reason behind this confidence is our people,” he said.

Modi said he had cautioned that there would be inconveniences caused by the move and that “we would face new problems”.

“I had said it will take about 50 days for the situation to normalise. It is not easy to get rid of the 70-year-old problem” of corruption and black money, he emphasised.

“Your support despite severe problems touched me. You have not wavered despite efforts to misguide you,” he said in his address, weeks after the surprise move caused an unprecedented crash crunch in the country.

Modi also asked the youth of India to take a pledge and make the country a cashless society that would curb rampant black money and corruption.

He, however, said 100 per cent cashless economy was not possible but there was no harm in trying.

“I need your support,” Modi said and asked young men and women to teach at least 10 families daily how to go cashless and make electronic payments.

“Take pledge to be a part of a cashless society from today. Not only this, you will also have to take time to educate at least 10 families every day. Educate them on how to download apps, how to spend money using mobile phones, how to make payments. How to do business.”

Modi said he needed the youth to lead the campaign so that “common people will be trouble free” after learning about cashless transactions.

“All youth can do it very quickly and within a month the world can see a modern India. Be a soldier of change and bring it on. We will fight the black money and corruption. We know it is you who can bring the change and revolution.”

Modi urged small traders to enter the digital world to increase their business. He sought everyone’s cooperation to make the campaign against black money a success.

The Prime Minister said the people must stand with the soldiers to boost their morale and strength.

“We must stand with our forces. When the entire nation stands with our ‘jawans’ (soldiers), their strength increases 125 crore times.”

Modi announced the government would publish a coffee table book containing the wishes from people to soldiers on the occasion of Diwali.

“One of the soldiers wrote to me that this year they did not feel lonely while celebrating Diwali at the borders.

“He said the soldiers celebrate all their festivals be it Holi or Diwali at the borders as all the time they are immersed in protecting the nation,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister said he has taken this decision for the poor — the farmers and labourers who are deprived and who are suffering. A part of the change, he said, would be transferring the salaries of labourers and farm workers in their banks. This will stop the problem of non-payment of minimum wages.

“We want labourers of the country to open bank accounts, deposit their salary in these accounts so that the minimum wage act is followed. Once you have bank accounts, you can use e-wallet facility using any mobile phone,” he said.

The government’s announcement banning currency notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000, aimed at flushing out black money, on November 8 has witnessed huge queues outside banks and ATMs since. The matter has become a full-blown political controversy, with the opposition calling a nationwide protest on Monday, highlighting the problems the common man is facing.

The government’s move, meant to flush out black money, however, has largely received support from the people.

Appealing to the people to be patient and make the transition to a cashless society, he said, “When I had taken the decision (to ban currency of high denomination), I had said that it would be full of difficulties… It would take time to overcome problems we have been facing for the last 70 years. It will not be easy.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday delivered this month’s edition of his radio address, Mann Ki Baat. The PM discussed demonetisation, the importance of cashless transactions and board exam attendance in Jammu and Kashmir.

Here are 10 key quotes from the programme.

1.
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