Virendra Singh Rawat
Lucknow / Dec 18, 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday tried to woo small farmers saying his government was committed to their long term welfare through targetted policies and financial support.
Modi stressed on linking the agriculture sector with modern technology and markets, including food processing, for increasing rural incomes and sustainable development.
Addressing a public meeting after laying the foundation of 594 km Ganga Expressway project at Shahjahanpur district in Western Uttar Pradesh, he said small farmers had been the largest beneficiaries of the flagship PM Kisan scheme, which entitles an annual payout of Rs 6,000.
“Thousands of crores have been disbursed directly into their bank accounts…small farmers are the largest beneficiaries. Now we are working to provide Kisan Credit Card to them. Earlier, the banks’ doors were closed for small farmers,” he claimed.
The PM underlined that record increase in the minimum support price (MSP) coupled with record procurement and direct benefit transfer (DBT) in bank accounts had provided a major relief to small cultivators.
“Our focus is to increase the area under institutional irrigation. We have allocated Rs one trillion for increasing rural infrastructure, storage and cold storage facilities. Such facilities are being established near villages so that the perishable but high priced commodities drive the food processing industry and generate local employment,” he added.
Modi said the Centre had resolved the decades’ old problem of sugarcane farmers by providing alternative solutions. “The ethanol blending programme is being encouraged, which is not only paring the oil import bill but strengthening the domestic sugar sector too.”
He said the new expressway will act as a catalyst along the 12 districts it traverses. “It will help farmers and promote livestock and MSME segments. The food processing sector has unlimited possibilities and the project will open new vistas of development.”
The Ganga Expressway, to be built under Design, Built, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) model, is estimated to cost Rs 36,200 crore. The UP government has awarded the contract to Adani Enterprises and IRB Infrastructure Developers for the development of the four packages of the project.
It involves acquisition of about 6,600 hectares of land across 12 districts viz Meerut, Hapur, Bulandshahar, Amroha, Sambhal, Badaun, Shahjahanpur, Hardoi, Unnao, Rae Bareli, Pratapgarh and Prayagraj (Allahabad) districts.
The Ganga Expressway will also comprise an airstrip for the landing and takeoff of aircraft during emergencies on the lines of the Agra-Lucknow Expressway and Purvanchal Expressway.
“Soon, UP will be known for its NextGen infrastructure. The new expressways, airports and railway routes in the state are providing a slew of boons to the people,” Modi said adding the upcoming new infra will save commutation time and ensure optimum use of resources for all round prosperity.