New Delhi, Feb 8 (FN Agency) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday reiterated that Minimum Support Price (MSP) for certain farm produce was there (in past), is there (now) and it will remain in the future. Assuring the farmers of the country while replying the debate on ‘Motion of Thanks’ on President’s address in the Rajya Sabha, Mr Modi said that Mandis will be modernised and affordable ration for the poor will continue. Appreciated the speech of the former Prime Minister HD Devegowda on the discussions on the farmer’s issue, he further said, “His words have added great perspective to the debate. He himself has a strong association with the agriculture sector”. The Prime Minister also said that the Agriculture Minister has been talking to farmers and` there has been no tensions yet. “Protesting is your right but want to request that old farmers are sitting, ask them to go home.
I want to extend the invitation through this house”, he added. Recalling the previous efforts made by the successive Governments he said that there was a huge cry in the country to recall the Green revolution in the past and at that time nobody was ready to become Agriculture Minister during former PM Shastriji’s time. Even Planning commission also opposed the agriculture reforms then he added. “But Shastriji moved forward. Left said the same thing then that it is being done on the instructions from America. Congress leaders were then called ‘American agents”, PM said, adding that Thousand protests were organised but Lal Bahadur Shastri moved forwards and today we have surplus production. Quoting the observations made by the former Prime Minister and farmers’ leader late Chaudhary Charan Singh on small farmers, Mr Modi said that today 68 per cent of farmers have been small and marginal farmers and over 12 crore of farmers have less than two hectares of land. “ Don’t We have a responsibility towards 12 crore farmers? This question of Chaudhary Charan Singh still exists, should not we find a solution? Laon waivers do not benefits small farmers as they do not approach banks for loan”,he said, adding that such farmers do not even a bank account. Reminding the Members of the House, he said “We should not lose this time, should progress, do not take the country backwards. We should give these re-firms and opportunity and see if this benefits you.
If there is a lacuna, we will fix it”, Mr Modi said. Assuring the opposition parties and agitating farmers as well indirectly, he further said “We accept good suggestions. I want to invite you to take the country forward by explaining the good features to the farmers who ware agitating”. PM Modi also said that since 2014 the NDA Government has initiated changes in the agriculture sector aimed at empowering the farmer. The crop insurance scheme was changed to make it more farmer friendly. The PM-KISAN scheme was also brought in and the Government has been working for the small farmers too. “NDA’s other schemes also help farmers. For example- the PMGSY. When the road connectivity improves, it enables the produce of the farmers to reach distant places. There are efforts like Kisan Rail too,” he said in Rajya Sabha. Modi further said India is very proud of the contribution of Sikhs. This is a community that has done so much for the nation. The words and blessings of the Guru Sahibs are precious.