Paris: Around 3.5 lakh well-off people have given up subsidised LPGs, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said, noting that the money saved on this will be diverted to those who still use wood for cooking.
Addressing a congregation of NRIs here, he recalled that he had casually wondered over a week ago why well-off people do not surrender subsidised LPG.
"Responding to this, two lakh people voluntarily surrendered subsidised LPG within a week," he said, adding this encouraged him.
"By Thursday last, 3.5 lakh people had surrendered subsidised LPG," Modi said.
The money saved will not go to the government treasury but it will be given to those who still use wood for cooking. "We will transfer this subsidy," he added.
This will also help address the problem of climate change. "Cutting of jungles will continue till people continue cooking using wood," he said.
Referring to Jandhan scheme, the Prime Minister said it was introduced to ensure that the poorest people get a bank account each.
He recalled that he made the announcement from Red Fort on Independence Day address last year and the aim was to complete the scheme by Republic Day this year.
Modi said the outcome of this scheme was that 13 crore now get direct transfer of subsidy, "plugging leakage" and keeping out the middlemen.
He asserted that on the basis of experience of 10 months as Prime Minister, he could say that "there is no reason why India should remain poor."
Talking about his "dream" of making India such a developed country which surpasses even developed nations like France, Modi said there are many possibilities in the country.
He said eastern parts of India were still lagging and his endeavour was to make these states like Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha as developed ones.
"Some things are left for me to resolve," Modi quipped. He also said that he was applying pressure on states to develop and use funds for healthcare etc.