New Delhi: In good news for urban poor, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said a housing scheme will soon be launched which will give them relief on interest on loans less than Rs five lakh.

Singh also promised that the government will ensure that all households benefit from bank services in the next two years.

Addressing the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort on the occasion of Independence Day, Singh said, "To provide housing for our poor brothers and sisters residing in urban areas of our country we will soon launch the Rajiv Housing Loan Scheme.

"Under this scheme, people belonging to the economically weaker sections would be given relief on interest for housing loans of less than Rs five lakh," Singh said.

Ten years ago, he said, only three out of every ten households in villages were benefiting from banking services but on Wednesday more than half of the rural households get the benefit of bank accounts. "It will be our endeavour to ensure that all households benefit from bank accounts in the next two years," he said.

He also said the government wants to create a system in which money from government schemes --pension for old people, scholarship for students and wages for labourers -- can be credited directly into people’s bank accounts.

"This would reduce inconvenience to beneficiaries, make it easy for them to receive payment and increase transparency.

For this work, we will take help from the Aadhar scheme under which about 20 crore people have been registered so far," Singh said.


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