Home Minister Amit Shah addresses during the inagiration of the Ethanol projects of M/S Kedarnath Sugar and Agro products at Karakalmatti village in Bagalkot on Sunday.
Home Minister Amit Shah addresses during the inagiration of the Ethanol projects of M/S Kedarnath Sugar and Agro products at Karakalmatti village in Bagalkot on Sunday.
ANI

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of various farmer-friendly projects in Bagalkot, Karnataka.

While addressing a rally at the Kerakalmatti village of Bagalkot, Shah listed out various programmes and initiatives of the central government for the welfare of the farmers. He further slammed the Congress regime over alleged inadequacies in the development of the state and highlighted that the BJP has invested a comparatively larger amount of resources for Karnataka's development.

"I want to ask the Sonia-Manmohan government, what did you give Karnataka in 10 years of rule? How much money was given to the state under the 13th Finance Commission?" the Home Minister said, "I will tell you, Congress gave Rs 88,583 crore; and under the 14th Finance Commission, the BJP government gave Rs 2,19,506 crore for development."

'PM-KISAN scheme benefit for farmers'

Addressing a huge public rally (Jansevak Samavesh) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College ground in the town on the second day of his visit to the southern state, Shah said the Narendra Modi government was committed to improving the welfare of farmers, as it had been working for them since it came to power six years ago in 2014.

"Under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme, lakhs of farmers are getting Rs 6,000 per year directly in their bank accounts. The BJP-led NDA government has also given Rs 13-lakh crore worth loans to farmers across the country as against Rs 6-lakh crore given by the Congress-led UPA government earlier," reiterated Shah.

On farm laws

Defending the farm laws against whom a section of farmers have been protesting since November 26 on Delhi borders and seeking their repeal, Shah said the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs) across the country would be linked digitally to enable farmers sell their produce directly to those who offer them the highest price.

Ethanol production

Noting that the Modi government was promoting increasing use of ethanol in fuels like petrol and diesel, the Home Minister said sugarcane growers would also benefit from higher ethanol production.

"The GST (Goods and Services Tax) on ethanol has been reduced to five per cent from 18 per cent to encourage sugarcane growers to increase ethanol production and help the country save on crude oil import bill by blending it with petrol and diesel," said Shah.

Hinting that efforts were being made to produce ethanol even from rice paddy to benefit farmers, Shah said ethanol production had increased 5-fold since 2014-15 to 190 crore litres in 2018-19.

"Ethanol production from sugarcane and rice paddy will be increased to 400 crore litres by 2022 from 325 crore litres in 2020 for blending it more with petrol," added Shah.

Shah also unveiled the new sugar factory of the Nirani group of companies, owned by state minister Murugesh Nirani, who was inducted into the cabinet on January 13 in Bengaluru.

Amit Shah's first trip to Karnataka after cabinet expansion

Shah flew to Bagalkot from Belagavi in a helicopter with state Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Prahlad Joshi.

Shah also laid the foundation for the expansion of Saipriya Sugars Ltd factory to 75,000 tonne crushing per day, 260mw co-generation and 26-lakh kilo litres of ethanol per day at Kerakalmatti in Badami taluk of Bagalkot district.

This ongoing visit is Shah's first trip after the Karnataka cabinet expansion which left many BJP leaders displeased.

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