PM Narendra Modi promised traders Rs 50-lakh loan sans any collateral, credit card facility along with pension scheme for small shopkeepers while making a strong re-election pitch to the business community on Friday.
Claiming that his government has stood by traders in thick and thin, he said that the opposition Congress has abused businessmen by calling all of them 'chor' (thieves).
While addressing a traders' convention, the PM said that the NDA-led government in the last 5 years worked to simplify the lives of businessmen and traders with various policies while stating that the traders are the backbone of the Indian economy but had in past never got the respect they deserved, Modi said, adding that doubling the size of the economy to USD 5 trillion is not possible without their contribution.
He then said that he values their hard work as they helped the economy bloom and that he has tried to make their life and business easy in his tenure and that how the nation had seen the same.
Hitting out at Congress, he claimed that party only insulted the businessmen and called them thieves in the last 70 years without realizing their contribution.
After being re-elected, he said, his government will set up a National Traders' Welfare Board, bring trader credit cards and a pension scheme for small shopkeepers, adding about the provisions for loans of up to 50 lakhs. He then alleged that the previous government blamed the traders for issues like price-rise when it was the party's own hoarders who were black marketing the commodities.