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Modi seeks increased investment and involvement of private sector in modernisation of agriculture
New Delhi, December 12, 2020
Reiterating his government’s commitment to the welfare of the farmers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today called for increased investment and involvement of the private sector in modernisation of agriculture.
Delivering the inaugural address at FICCI’s 93rd Annual General Meeting and Annual Convention through video conferencing, the Prime Minister said, “Through policy and intention, the Government is committed to the welfare of the farmers.”
Noting the increasing vibrancy of the sector, he talked about the new alternative available to the farmers to sell their produce outside the "mandis", modernization of mandis and option of selling their produce on the electronic platform. All this is directed to make the farmer prosperous as "a prosperous farmer means a prosperous nation", he said.
Noting that private sector investment in agriculture was not up to the mark, he said in the supply chain, cold storage and other areas like fertilizers, its interest and investment were needed. There was a huge scope in rural agro-based industries and a friendly policy regime has been put in place for that, he added.
Making a strong pitch for the positive change happening in the rural, semi-rural and tier-2 and tier-3 cities, the Prime Minister invited the senior business and industry leaders to avail of the opportunities in such areas.
The numbers of Internet users in rural areas have surpassed those in the cities and more than half of India’s start-ups were in tier-2 and tier-3 cities. Mentioning the recently approved PM-WANI for public Wi-Fi hotspots, he said that entrepreneurs should become partners in the rural connectivity efforts.
“It is certain that, in the 21st century, India’s growth will be driven by villages and small cities and entrepreneurs like you should not lose out on the opportunity to invest in the villages and small cities. Your investment will open new doors for our brothers and sisters in the rural areas and the agriculture sector,” he added.
Lauding the private sector for not only meeting the domestic needs but also for its capability to establish a strong brand India globally, Modi said the commitment of every citizen towards Aatmnirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) was an example of the country’s faith in its private sector.
“In life as well as governance, a confident person never hesitates in giving space to others. A strong government, backed by a massive mandate, exudes that confidence and dedication.
“A decisive government always strives to remove obstacles for others and always tries to contribute towards society and the nation. Such a government does not want to hog control and initiative.”
He said that, at one time, the government was present in all the sectors and this approach brought about ruin on the economy. A visionary and decisive government, on the other hand, encourages all the stakeholders to realize their potential.
In the last six years, the government was encouraging stakeholders in all sectors. This was reflected in the all-round reforms in sectors ranging from manufacturing to MSME; agriculture to infrastructure; from the tech industry to taxation and from real estate to regulatory easing, he added.
“Our industry needs bridges, not walls. By removing the walls separating various sectors of the economy there will be new opportunities for everyone, especially the farmers who will get new options. Investment in technology, cold storage and the agriculture sector will benefit farmers,” Modi said.
He called for investing in time and energy to make agriculture, service, manufacturing and social sectors complement each other. Organizations like the FICCI could be both a bridge and inspiration in this endeavour. “We should work to strengthen the local value and supply chain and how to expand India’s role in the global supply chain. India has the market, manpower and also the capability to work in mission mode,” he added.
The Prime Minister cited the success of financial inclusion through the trinity of J-A-M (Jan Dhan, Aadhar and Mobile) as the best example of a planned and integrated approach to reforms under this Government. As the world’s biggest Direct Benefit Transfer system, it has come in for praise when the government could transfer money to crores of accounts through a click of a button during the pandemic time.
The Prime Minister complimented the industrialists and entrepreneurs for their contribution to the robust rebound from the COVID shock. The country had prioritized the lives of the citizens during the pandemic and that yielded good results, he added.