Modi Promises Access to Banking for India’s Poor
Friday, August 15, 2014
NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised on Friday greater access to financial services for nearly 500 million Indians who do not have a bank account, many of whom are now at the mercy of money lenders who charge extortionate interest.
Even though India has grown to become Asia’s third-largest economy, thousands of poor farmers commit suicide every year because they cannot repay loans.
“He takes a loan from a money lender that he cannot return and dies,” Modi, 63, said in his Independence Day address. “For his daughter’s marriage, a poor man takes a loan from the money lender that he cannot return.”