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Words of Wisdom : "There are only two lasting bequests we can give our children... one is roots, the other wings." ~ Steven Covey

Modi says don't buy Gold

Last week Modi the Prime Minister turned into Modi the Financial Advisor.

Speaking at a function organised to commemorate 60 years of ICICI Bank, Modi urged the fellow Indians to stop buying gold.

India, he pointed out, alongwith its neigbours including China are the nations where people display huge propensity towards Savings. Since time immemorial, each generation has endeavoured to leave something for his children and grandchildren. Security of ones' family and oneself is of paramount importance.


This is quite contrary to the credit card culture in the West where children often inherit only debt.

The problem, however, has been that for this people find gold as the only viable alternative; especially when financial difficulties arise. The psychological effect of owning gold is indeed immeasurable. Guided by safety, security and future, each person is hoarding a lot more gold than his basic requirements.

And this where the banking sector has a challenge. It must create the same kind of credibility as gold, in the minds of people. Aam aadmi should have easy access to bank, ATM and such other banking facilities closeby, so that he no longer feels the urge to buy gold. Banks have to provide the assurance that they will always be there, especially in the times of distress.

This, in Modi's opinion, will transform the Indian economy like no other initiative has ever done till date. And rightly so.

Today lakhs of crores of wealth in India is lying locked up in gold, which has no productive use. Even if a small percentage of this immense wealth could enter the productive economy through the banking channels, it will make India one of the richest economies in the world.

Therefore, in addition to advising people to shift their preference from gold to bank deposits, the Prime Minister has launched the Jan Dhan Yojana. A bank account for each household has been declared as the national priority. Accordingly, all banks have been advised to enroll crores of un-banked households and open zero balance accounts for them. This is the first step towards economic equality or financial inclusion.

Then there is the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan. Though being dismissed as a gimmick, it is another scheme that has the potential to create a new India. What many people don't realise is that the unhygienic living conditions, and not poverty, are primarily responsible for malnutrition and high child mortality in India. Clean India would help millions of babies to not only survive, but also grow up with healthy bodies and healthy minds. This will bring about huge savings in the healthcare expenses. The same money can then be spent more productively on their education.

Given the young demographic profile, abundant natural resources and intelligent workforce, there is no reason why India cannot be the next superpower. The above policies of the Modi Govt. could possibly be the desired game-changers.

Unfortunately, people don't appreciate the fact that such a dramatic change will take some time. So my worry is that after 5 years they may throw out Modi just as they threw out Vajpayee, whose economic ideas had just begun to propel India's growth. Sadly, thereafter, India lost 10 precious years to the disastrous policies of the Congress Govt.

Therefore, I sincerely hope and pray that, after giving 60 years to the Congress, Indians give at least 10 years to Modi. Meanwhile do what Modi says... DON'T BUY GOLD.

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