“I Am Someone Who Works Towards Deadlines, Not Headlines”: PM Modi

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'I Am Someone Who Works Towards Deadlines, Not Headlines': PM Modi

“Our country is home to about 1.25 lakh registered startups,” PM Modi said (File)

New Delhi:

On a day when the Election Commission (EC) notified the dates for the Lok Sabha polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi set the tone for an expected third term in office, saying he works for deadlines, and not headlines.

In a keynote address at the India Today Conclave in the national capital on Saturday, PM Modi said, “Whenever I come to a conclave like this, those in the audience expect me to say things that will make loads of headlines. However, I am someone who works towards deadlines, not headlines. So I might be making some points that the media may not find too attractive.”

He said he wanted to expand on certain welfarist initiatives of the Centre that rarely appear on newsprint or are extensively covered by the broadcast media.

“There are initiatives that the media rarely covers but these are issues that connect with ordinary people,” PM Modi said.

He said there are an estimated 1.25 lakh registered startups in India and the most remarkable feature about them is that they are spread evenly across 600 districts of the country.

“Speaking of startups, there were only a handful of them 10 years ago. However, today, our country is home to about 1.25 lakh registered startups. But it is not the sheer numerical strength of these startups that determines their identity. The aspect that stands out is that these startups are distributed evenly in more than 600 districts, which account for 90 per cent of the country’s geographical expanse,” PM Modi said.

Seeking to dispel the notion that startups in India are largely based in Bengaluru, a city known as the country’s IT capital, PM Modi said the even distribution of the startup ecosystem is a pointer to the fact that smalltown youths are driving the country’s startup boom.

“There is a notion that our startups are largely based in Bengaluru. The existence of startups in over 600 districts of the country goes to show that the youth in Tier II and Tier III cities are invested in them. The entrepreneurial spirit and success of our smalltown youth are driving the country’s startup boom,” he said.

In a veiled swipe at the Congress, PM Modi said, “A political party, which seldom found it worthwhile earlier to even speak of startups, is forced to talk about them today.”

Expanding on the Centre’s flagship MUDRA Yojana, under which loans up to Rs 10 lakh are provided by banks to non-corporate, non-farm small or micro-enterprises, PM Modi said the scheme has opened up newer avenues of self-employment in the country and youths, who previously had nothing to mortgage, can now avail cheap credit facilities easily.

“A scheme that has led to a windfall change in employment and self-employment opportunities on the ground is the MUDRA Yojana. In previous years, our youths had to offer valuables as guarantees against bank loans. 

However, under the MUDRA Yojana, even those who have nothing to mortgage or offer as guarantees, can now avail guaranteed bank loans. This has been a revolutionary change,” Prime Minister Modi said.

He said several beneficiaries of the MUDRA scheme have successfully launched business ventures for the first time.

“Bank loans worth Rs 26 lakh crore have been given to small-scale enterprises without guarantees. Among the 8 crore MUDRA beneficiaries are those who started business ventures for the first time,” he added.

Speaking on the PM-SWANidhi, a micro-credit scheme providing handholding support to street vendors, PM Modi said, “There is another similar scheme called PM-SWANidhi. Under this, street vendors have easy access to loans, and that too, without guarantee. I have learned from my own experience that while the poor can get rich, the rich can also go poor.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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