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NEW DELHI, Dec 31 (Reuters) - 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 bank notes.
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 Collett-White)