Strict “Benami law” for mis-using Jandhan bank accounts : PM Modi

New Delhi, Nov. 27: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today warned those using Jan Dhan accounts of the poor to park their illegal money that a strict ” benami” law would be implemented against such transactions.

These accounts have seen a surge in deposits since the currency recall decision was announced on November 8.

In his first monthly radio broadcast since demonetisation, Modi appealed to the people to shift to a cashless system of transactions. He urged the youth, whom he termed “the true soldiers”, to lead the battle against corruption by educating the elderly and the illiterate.

Speaking on Mann ki Baat, he said: “Even now, some people think they can bring their black money, the money earned through corruption or the one which is unaccounted for, back into the system through illegal means.

“Unfortunately, they are misusing the poor for this purpose by misleading, luring or tempting them by putting money into their accounts.”

He said “a very stringent law to deal with ‘ benami’ transactions” was being implemented, which would make it very difficult to pull them off.

“I would tell such (unscrupulous) people that to reform or not reform is your wish. Following the law or not is your wish – that the law will take care of.

“But please don’t play with the life of the poor. Don’t do anything so that when there is an investigation, the name of the poor comes on record and he gets into trouble because of you.

“The government does not want the people to face such difficulties,” Modi said.

However, wrong practices had become so entrenched that some people were not mending their ways, he said. “These people are trying to find ways to again bring their ill-gotten wealth, black money, benami and unaccounted cash back into the system.

“They are scouting for illegal ways to save their black money and unfortunately, even in this pursuit, they are looking to misuse the poor.”

Modi patted the people for backing demonetisation despite the difficulties they were facing. He said efforts were being made to mislead the people but they were making sacrifices for a better India.

“Our dream is for a cashless society. It is correct that we cannot achieve it immediately. But India can definitely move towards a less-cash society. Once we start the move towards a less-cash society, the goal of a cashless society will not be far away,” he said.

The Prime Minister’s appeal over radio sparked a flurry of tweets from Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. “Mann Ki Baat has now become Modi Ki Baat. Misusing government machinery,” she tweeted.

Claiming Modi had “finished India’s economy and growth”, she continued: “We don’t trust you or your mismatched wrong technology which you are advertising for.”

Another tweet said: “Instead of finding solutions to the suffering & pain of millions of people he is doing personal vendetta personal publicity and business.”

Mamata said she was for technology and progress, but “no section of society is to be left out and tortured while doing this.”

The women of the country would give Modi a befitting reply, she claimed. “They are the mother of India. They are the mother of all, Mr Today’s PM.”

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