Last year, Modi spoke for nearly 54 minutes from the Red Fort, which was his shortest Independence Day address to the nation since 2014. He spoke for over 65 minutes in 2014, 86 minutes in 2015, and 94 minutes in 2016.
In his last Independence Day speech before the 2019 general elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to announce benefits for about 32 crores Jan Dhan account holders. The benefits will be announced to provide a boost to the government’s financial inclusion drive, official sources told news agency PTI.
The overdraft facility under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) may be doubled from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000. This facility allows Jan Dhan account holders to withdraw money from their account even when they have zero balance in it. At present, any one member of a household can withdraw up to Rs 5,000 in case of emergency. PM Modi on August 15 may announce the decision to increase this amount to Rs 10,000 as part of the government’s effort to fund the unfunded.
According to PTI sources, the government may also announce an attractive microinsurance scheme. PM Modi’s ambitious Jan Dhan Yojana was launched in August 2014. The first phase of the scheme was focused on opening basic bank accounts and RuPay Debit Card. The government is also expected to increase free accident cover under the RuPay cardholders from Rs 1 lakh. Like every year, this year too, PM Modi has asked people to send in ideas for his Independence Day speech. The appeal has already received over 8,000 submissions on MyGov website.