NEW DELHI Dec 31 Indian Prime Minister Narendra
Modi announced a slew of incentives to the poor, farmers, women
and small businesses on Saturday, in a New Year's speech in
which he also defended his decision to abolish high denomination
The withdrawal of 500 and 1,000 rupee bills on Nov. 8 caused
widespread disruption and anger in a country where cash
dominates, and the televised address was seen as an opportunity
to offer financial relief to people suffering most.
The prime minister also urged banks to restore normalcy as
soon as possible.
(Reporting by Malini Menon and Rupam Jain; Editing by Mike