Prime Minister Narendra Modi releasing the next instalment of financial benefit under PM Kisan Samman Nidhi through video conference in New Delhi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi releasing the next instalment of financial benefit under PM Kisan Samman Nidhi through video conference in New Delhi.
Photo via AFP

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday listed umpteen number of advantages to farmers in the new farm laws, saying he wants them to be the part of Brand India.

In a video-conferenced address to over 9 crore farmers in six states, after disbursing to each Rs 2,000 in their bank accounts, he said the
government is ready to talk and find a way to keep moving forward.

"Even after hearing people who do not trust democracy and are opposing us, we are ready to talk to them but talks will be with an agenda, logic and only Atmnirbhar Kisan can lay the foundation of Atmanirbhar Bharat," he said.

Listing advantages to the farmers, he said: "Do you want to sell your produce at MSP? You can sell it. Do you want to sell your produce in the market? You can sell. Do you want to export your produce? You can export. Do you want to sell it to the merchant? You can do so."

If farmers are getting so many options what is wrong in it? asked Modi. He said the new reforms have paved the way for alternative markets: they can now sell to mandis, other states, other traders, sell it as FPOs, they can do it all. If you want to become part of the supply value chain, you can do that.

Modi said: "We are establishing Brand India. Today, the farmer is getting a pucca house, a toilet and clean water. This is the farmer who has benefited greatly from free electricity connection, free gas hook up and free treatment up to 5 lakh rupees under Ayushman Bharat scheme. Our government has addressed the major concerns of his life."

Stressing that time has come for Brand India to establish itself in agriculture, the Prime Minister said: "When we increased investment and innovation in other sectors, we increased the income as well as established Brand India in that sector. Now the time has come for Brand India to establish itself in the agricultural markets of the world with equal honour."

He pointed out that the propaganda of MSP vanishing under the new laws is false as the government is already doing record MSP purchases and the political parties that are shouting today were the ones who ignored the farmers' condition when they were in power.

He said that they sat on Swaminathan Commission report for years.

"The need today is cold storage and we have spent crores on developing network of cold storages across India. We have provided Kisan Credit Card to 2.5 crore farmers and are working to find out what's going on in the world of agriculture and how it can be implemented in India," he said.

The PM said he has introduced a new system of funding the farmers in which there are"no middlemen and no commissions; money flows straight to farmers,and we have directly deposited more than Rs 18,000 crore in their bank accounts. He said in the past, governments have been making promises and forgetting the commitment because of which the situation worsened and the poor farmer became poorer.

"Since 2014, we have worked with a new approach to address the smallest issues and modernise the farming practices," he underlined.

Turning to West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, he said the Trinamool's political ideology is to destroy farmers in Bengal . He said that the TMC was not providing benefits to farmers of Bengal but they are supporting the agitation in Punjab. This was event management to perpetuate their brand of politics but they have been exposed.

Modi further targeted Mamata Banerjee for not joining thePM Kisan scheme. He said that farmers from Bengal have been writing to the Centre but the Mamata government is not allowing them to avail of the benefits.

Remembering former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajapyee on his birth anniversary, he said Vajpayee was a proponent of agricultural reforms. He made good governance a priority and part of day-to-day dialogue.His schemes of Golden Quadrilateral or Sarva Siksha Abhiyan changed the face of India. He said the new farm reforms that have been implemented were once proposed by Vajpayee.

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