NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to unveil an array of big-ticket measures in his upcoming year-end address that will be aimed at putting India back on the growth track besides offering much-needed balm after demonetisation led to currency shortages that have caused economic disruption.
The emphasis is expected to be on boosting purchasing power and consumption besides lending a hand to medium and small enterprises as well as farmers, two persons familiar with deliberations at the highest level told ET. Modi is expected to address the nation on the evening of December 31in a speech that will outline various economy-boosting measures and more steps in the crackdown against black money.
“Direct benefit transfer would be used to hand out support to these sectors,” one of the officials said. The proposals, one of which could be a scheme for some form of income transfer, are being given the final touches.
The prime minister caught fellow citizens by surprise on November 8 when he announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes would cease to be legal tender and would have to be exchanged or deposited by December 30. He had also called on the people to put up with hardship for 50 days, after which he pledged that things would return to normal.
The move was aimed at rooting out black money, counterfeit currency, corruption and terror financing. The government said demonetisation would also enable the shift to a cashless economy, which would make it easy to keep track of transactions.
The government is keen to offer encouragement to the sectors that have faced hardship since the note cancellation such as consumer durables, automobiles, construction, textiles, vegetable growers and traders, services and entertainment.