Major News and Events of 01 January 2017
What Happened on 01 January 2017
General Bipin Rawat takes over as Army Chief
Notebandi notwithstanding, country celebrates to welcome 2017
Akhilesh draws peace with father Mulayam, for now
On the last day of 2016, PM Modi made his much awaited speech after 50 days of demonetisation. After his inaugural speech from Red Fort on Jan 26 2015, this was probably the next most awaited speech for the nation.
People were expecting another big bang announcement that would shake the existing order beyond what had already been shaken, but ended up rather mildly with the PM making social sector announcements aimed more to mollify unhappy people who have had to bear the brunt of demonetization through job losses and long queues at bank and ATM counters.
He announced a major push for housing for the weaker sections by offering a subsidy of 4% on loans upto Rs 9 lakh and 3% on loans upto Rs 12 lakh. This is expected to give housing a boost and is expected to create jobs in the construction sector.
Under the Pradhan Mantri Grameen Awas Yojana (PMGAY), the Prime Minister promised to build 33% more houses in rural areas. He further added that people could renovate their existing houses or add another floor and the government would release Rs 2 lakh for the purpose as loan at a 3% concession on the usual interest rate .
In order to reduce child and infant mortality, the government would transfer Rs 6000 into bank accounts of pregnant women.
For farmers, he announced that the existing Kisan Credit Cards would be converted into RuPay Cards to enable cash transfers from their mobiles instead of going to banks. He further announced that that the government would pay 60 days interest on loans taken by farmers for the current Rabi season.The trading communality had some good news coming when the PM announced an increase in credit guarantee by raising the existing credit limit from Rs 1 crore to Rs 2 crore. He also called for banks to raise the credit limit for small businesses from 20% to 25%.The nation will now wait for the Finance Minister’s Budget speech for further relief.
After initial controversy regarding his selection as Army Chief, General Bipin Rawat took over as the next Chief of Staff from General Dalbir Singh Suhag who retired yesterday. General Rawat is a war veteran having taken active command of several military campaigns in conflict areas of North East and J&K.
New Year party celebrations continued with gusto despite reported cash shortages. Going by the crowds on the streets of almost all major cities in the country partying through the last night of 2016, it seemed ‘notebandi’ had little impact on people’s party sentiments.
After his dramatic expulsion from the Samajwadi Party, CM Akhilesh Yadav demonstrated support of over 200 MLAs who had gathered at his residence to pledge their support on the 31st of December.It took Azam Khan’s intervention to highlight the impending split within the party, which could leave Mulayam Singh and his brother Shivpal Yadav in a far weaker position. Mulayam Singh was quick to realize this and took back his order to expel Akhilesh Yadav and his cousin Ram Gopal Yadav.Although peace has been called between father and son, the fight is far from over, as Akhilesh is now reportedly calling for Shivpal Yadav to step down as Party President and is also calling for Amar Singh’s ouster from the party. 2017 is going to see more of the father-son drama and its fallout on the forthcoming elections.