24 December 2020, New Delhi, IN: The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi today released the 7thinstalment of financial benefit under PM KisanSammanNidhi through video conference.PM also interacted with farmers from Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh. Farmers narrated their experiences about how they have benefitted since the introduction of the Farm Acts.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said Rs 18000 crore have been deposited directly in the bank account of 9 crore farmer families in the country at the click of a button today. He added ever since this scheme started, more than 1 lakh 10 thousand crore rupees have reached the account of farmers.
The Prime Minister expressed regret that more than 70 lakh farmers of West Bengal have not been able to get this benefit. He said over 23 lakh farmers of Bengal have applied online to take advantage of this scheme. But the state government has stopped the verification process. He said the parties which do not speak in the interest of farmers in West Bengal, come to Delhi and talk about the farmer. He said these parties are missing APMC-mandis nowadays, but these parties repeatedly forget that there are no APMC-mandis in Kerala and these people never agitate in Kerala.
The Prime Minister said the Government worked at aiming to reduce the input cost of the farmers. He listed some farmer-centric initiatives of the Government like Soil Health Card, Neem Coating of Urea, scheme for distribution of Solar Pumps which helped in reducing the input cost for the farmers. He added the government tried to ensure that the farmers have a better crop insurance cover. Today, crores of farmers are getting the benefit of the PM crop insurance scheme.
The Prime Minister said the government tried to ensure that the country’s farmers get a fair price for their crops. He said the Government fixed one and a half times the production cost as MSP for the farmers as per the recommendations of the long-standing Swaminathan Committee report. He added the number of crops for which MSP is available were also increased.
The Prime Minister said that the Government aimed to open new markets for the farmers to sell their produce. He said the Government added more than a thousand agricultural mandis of the country online and produce worth, more than Rs. one lakh crore has been traded. He said the Government worked towards forming groups of small farmers so that they can work as a collective force in their region. Today, a campaign is underway to form more than 10000 Farmers Producer Organizations – FPOs in the country and they are given financial help.
The Prime Minister said today, the farmers are getting a pucca house, toilet and clean piped drinking water. They have benefited greatly from the free electricity connection, free gas connection. Free treatment up to Rs. 5 lakh under Ayushman Bharat scheme has reduced the major concern of health of farmers.
The Prime Minister said through agricultural reforms better options were provided to the farmers. After these laws farmers can sell their produce to whomever they want. They can sell their produce wherever they get the right price. He said after the new laws, farmers can sell their produce at MSP or export or sell it to the merchant, or sell it in another state, or sell it through FPO or be part of the value chain of biscuits, chips, jam, other consumer products.
The Prime Minister said that the time has come for Brand India to establish itself in the Agricultural Markets of the world.
The Prime Minister thanked all the farmers across the country who have fully supported and welcomed the agricultural reforms and assured that he will not let them down. He said people mainly from the rural areas, participated in the recently held local body elections in Assam, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir and in a way, rejected all the parties that misled farmers.
In his introductory address Agriculture Minister Shri Narendra Singh Tomar highlighted that former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee had laid the foundation of good governance and reforms in the Agriculture sector which were taken forward by the Modi Government and since 2014 a number of reforms and initiatives have been introduced in the agriculture and rural sector. Under the leadership of PM Modi the budgetary allocation for Agriculture increased, MSP increased, procurement increased and the process of formation of 10 thousand FPO’s began.
Shri Tomar said that except for West Bengal all other states have been covered under the PM KisanSammanNidhi. Even during Covid and Lockdown money has reached the farmers. He said that there are some doubts about the New Farm Acts in the minds of farmers from Punjab. The Government is willing to clear doubts and misgivings and has invited them for dialogue.