PM goes all out to woo city traders, slams Congress
Even Mahatma Gandhi proudly called himself a baniya' but the naamdaars' would still malign the trader community, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing a huge gathering of traders at Delhi's Talkatora Stadium on Friday.
Making an election appeal to the trading community that has been miffed with the impact of the Goods & Services Tax (GST), Modi announced a slew of measures that he said will be taken after the NDA government is sworn into power, come May 23. These included, setting up a National Traders' Welfare Board that would act as a channel of communication between the government and trader community. He also announced Rs 10 lakh insurance for traders under GST, and trader credit cards like kisan credit cards.
Modi also promised that a provision will be made to provide loans of up to Rs 50 lakh without any collateral. For promoting entrepreneurship among youth, the new BJP government will invest Rs 20,000 crore in the startup sector... We will get 50,000 start-ups established in the country by 2024, the prime minister said. He promised that several new incubation zones and incubators will be set up in local bodies to boost startups, adding that the new BJP-led government will strengthen businesses financially and institutionally in such a manner that they can leave a mark in the export sector, and also boost Brand India.
For the last five years, I have tried hard to make your life and business obstacle-free. I want you to work without fear or tension. I believe the trader community is truly weather forecasters because they anticipate people's demands in advance, Modi told the traders who gathered to thank him for promising pension for small traders in the BJP's recently released manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections. Modi accused the previous governments of neglecting the trader community and having them face the flak for inflation.
The leadership of previous governments is to blame for not making things easy for the trading community. It was their habit to abuse traders and facilitate the rest, he said. As the PM gave a report card for the five years of his government, he counted GST as an achievement that he said had increased transparency in business. Modi said he wants to see India move up from rank 65 to 50 on the ease of doing business' index in the next five years.