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PM warns of tough action against dishonest, announces sops

PTI | New Delhi |

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday set out a stern warning of tough action against the "dishonest" people even as he announced a slew of sops for senior citizens, farmers, rural housing, women and small entrepreneurs to soften the blow of demonetisation.

He also assuaged the honest people that the government will act as a friend to them so that their difficulties are eased.

Among the sops announced in his address to the nation at the end of 50-day demonetisation period, Modi said senior citizens will get 8 per cent interest on deposits of upto Rs.7.5 lakh for 10 years and deposit of Rs.6000 into accounts of pregnant and lactating women in rural areas to meet medical expenses.

For farmers, he announced that banks will not charge interest for 60 days on loans taken from district cooperative central bank and primary societies for rabi crop.

For construction or expansion of a rural house, 3 per cent interest will be waived on loan of upto Rs.2 lakh.

Announcing two new schemes under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, he said 4 per cent interest subvention on loans upto Rs.9 lakh and 3 per cent on loan upto Rs.12 lakh.

"The law will take its course with full force. The government will help the honest and protect them and see their difficulties are eased. How honest will gain from the government. This government is a friend of good people and wants to build on the good environment for the people to return to goodness," he said.

Acknowledging that "serious offences" have been committed by some bank and government officials taking advantage of situation, he said "they will not be spared".