PM reminds states to grant Central aid to farmers
In a bid to double the farmers' income by 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday reminded states to grant Central aid to all farmers, as their welfare was the key to sustain agricultural growth and the country's socio-economic development.
"I urge the states that have not yet implemented the Central scheme under which 6 crore farmers are given Rs 6,000 per annum as minimum support income for their benefit and welfare," said Modi at a huge farmers'-cum-public rally here, about 70 km from Bengaluru.
The Prime Minister, however, did not name the states which are yet to implement the Central scheme -- Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana (PMKSNY) in which every farmer-family gets Rs 6,000 per year credited in its bank account in three installments of Rs 2,000 for 4 months each as minimum income support.
"I hope all political parties will rise above politics to help the farmers in the state which are yet to implement the scheme," Modi noted.
The flagship scheme came into force from December 1, 2018 initially to small and marginal farmers and was extended to all farmers across the country since August 2019 after the general election, to fulfill the promise made in the ruling BJP's poll manifesto.
"Rs 12,000 crore has been transferred directly into the bank accounts of 6-crore farmer families across the country as the third installment of the scheme from December to March 2020," he pointed out.
Noting that increased agriculture production was essential for the GDP (gross domestic product) growth to reach $5-trillion by 2024, Modi said the government was doing everything possible for the farmers who are "annadata" (the producers of food) for the 130-crore people of the country.
"Farmers' welfare is our top priority as we value their service and sacrifice in feeding such a huge population in a vast country like India under challenging times and despite facing the cycle of droughts and floods in most states," asserted Modi.
Assuring the farmers of expanding the support infrastructure to increase production and higher yield per acre, the Prime Minister said the Central government was expanding the cold storage capacity across the country for the benefit of the farmers growing season crops to ensure better price.
"Production of spices has increased 2.5 million tonne, increasing the value of their exports to Rs 19,000 crore from Rs 15,000 crore per year. Our attempt is to identify specific products from every block and district and add to its value. We want to create a distinct identity to these products and ensure their export value increases," he said.
The Prime Minister also handed over certificates to beneficiaries under the PM Kisan from 8 states/Union Territories and keys of deep sea fishing vessels and fishing vessel transponders to select farmers of Tamil Nadu on the occasion.
"Fishermen's boats are being modernised for deep-sea fishing and navigation devices are being installed in boats for the protection of fishermen with the help of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)," said Modi.
Earlier, the Prime Minister also presented Krishi Karman awards to 32 progressive farmers from different states for enhanced food production before addressing the rally. - IANS