But he conceded that none, including the government, had any idea about the exact amount of black money parked abroad.
“Today I want to share something and I am sure that people trust me when I say this. It is about black money. Every penny of the money of the poor of India that has gone out will come back. Please trust this pradhan sevak. The issue is an article of faith for me. Nobody, not this government, not you, not the previous government knows exactly how much black money is stashed abroad,” Modi said in the second episode of his radio talk, Mann ki Baat.
The talk was broadcast by private FM stations, most TV channels and Doordarshan, apart from All India Radio. It was also carried by direct-to-home operators for the first time.
“From what I understand and the information I have, I am telling you that we are in the right direction. There is no dearth in efforts to bring the black money back. I will do as much as possible, keep the blessings coming,” Modi added.
The Prime Minister’s first radio talk was broadcast on October 3, on Vijaya Dashami, when he spoke about the Swachh (clean) Bharat Mission as well as women’s safety and urged people to buy khadi products.
Today, Modi expressed satisfaction over people’s acceptance of his appeal to buy khadi: “I urged people to purchase khadi last time. I never said become khadiwadi but I said buy some khadi. There was an increase in khadi sale after that. I was told that khadi sales increased by almost 125 per cent.”
Before referring to black money, Modi hailed the Swachh Bharat campaign and declared that he was happy that it had influenced ordinary citizens of the country. He quoted one Bharat, who sent him a mail, as saying that people on trains were now refraining from littering the compartments.
The Prime Minister also pointed out how children have been influenced by the campaign. “I came to know from social media that children have showed great enthusiasm in keeping the country clean. They don’t throw chocolate wrappers on the streets anymore.”
Modi also promised that in his next radio speech, he would talk about drug abuse.
“I got a letter on the issue of drugs. I used to get this even earlier when I was not PM. I am going to talk about it in my next programme. I appeal to you to share your experiences with me. We should all make efforts to curb this menace of drug abuse. (We) can’t keep hiding things, we have to focus on these problems afflicting society,” Modi said in his short talk.
He mentioned that the HRD ministry had taken an inspired initiative to make the education system easily available to differently abled children. “If differently abled students want to pursue technical or vocational training under a central university, the government will give them a special scholarship.”
He added: “The HRD ministry has also decided that every Kendriya Vidyalaya and central university will receive a special grant of Rs 1 lakh each to make the institution differently abled-friendly. From separate washrooms to proper facilities in classrooms, these students will be given as many facilities as possible.”
Modi did not miss the chance to remind the country how he had spent the night of Diwali with soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir. “When the country was celebrating Diwali, I visited the soldiers in Siachen,” he said.