The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi replied to the motion of thanks on the President’s address, in Rajya Sabha today. He thanked the members of the Upper House for participating and contributing towards the debate. He said that the President’s address has infused hope, confidence in the world which is facing hard challenges.
He said India, today, is a land of opportunities and the eyes of the world are on India. There are expectations from India and there is confidence that India will contribute to the betterment of our planet. As India’ enters the 75th year of its Independence, we should try to make it a celebration of inspiration and rededicate ourselves to the pledges of our vision for India of 2047 when it’s Independence will be a century PM said.
The Prime Minister said that effective handling of the Covid pandemic is not a success of a party or individual but is a success of the nation and should be celebrated as such. India has seen days when there was a large threat of polio, small pox. Nobody knew whether India will get a vaccine or how many people will get it. From those days, Shri Modi said, we are now here- when our nation is making vaccines for the world and undertaking world largest vaccine drive. This increases our self-confidence. The COVID-19 period has added new strength to our federal structure and the spirit of cooperative federalism, he noted.
The Prime Minister addressed the criticism of Indian democracy and said that Indian democracy is not a western institution but a human institution. It is imperative to alert the countrymen about the all-round attack on Indian Nationalism. Quoting Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, the Prime Minister asserted, Indian nationalism is neither narrow, nor selfish or aggressive, It is based on the notion of Satyam, Shivam Sundaram. “India is not merely the world’s largest democracy. India is the ‘Mother of Democracy’ and this is our ethos. Our nation’s temperament is democratic”, said the Prime Minister.
Shri Modi said that where, countries are deprived of foreign investment during Corona times, India received record investment. Shri Modi listed strong performance in foreign currency, FDI, internet penetration and digital, financial inclusion, spread of toilet coverage, affordable housing, LPG coverage and free medical treatment in this regard. Shri Modi said there are challenges and we have to decide whether we want to be part of the solution or the problem.
The Prime Minister informed that since 2014 the 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. Shri Modi stressed that the Government is working for the small farmers. Farmers have got claim worth Rs 90,000 crore under PMFBY. Farmers also benefitted from Kisan Credit Card, Soil Health Card and Samman Nidhi. When the road connectivity improves under PM Gramin Sadak Yojna, it enables the produce of the farmers to reach distant places. There are efforts like Kisan Rail and Kisan Udan too. The need of the hour is to improve the lives of the small farmers, said the Prime Minister. Why should not they have the same freedom as dairy sector to work with private or cooperative sector? Asked the Prime Minister.
Problems of agriculture should be resolved and there is a need to work for this. The Prime Minister invited all the parties to move forward for the welfare of the farmers. On MSP, the Prime Minister reiterated, “MSP is there, MSP was there. MSP will remain in the future. Affordable ration for the poor will continue. Mandis will be modernised.” For the welfare of the farmers, we need to rise above political calculations, He said.
The Prime Minister cautioned against the forces who are trying to destabilise the country. He 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. The Prime Minister also insisted that attempt should be made to bridge the urban-rural divide.
The Prime Minister underlined the importance of the youth power and said that efforts to strengthen the youth will pay rich dividend for the bright future of the country. Similarly, he appreciated the quick acceptance accorded to the National Education Policy.
The Prime Minister said that MSME is critical for the recovery and growth of the economy as they have huge employment potential also. That is why they received special attention in the stimulus packages during the Corona times.
Referring to the notion of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, The Prime Minister underlined the steps taken for normalisation in naxal affected areas and the northeast. He said situation is improving there and new opportunities are opening up in these areas. He expressed the hope that in coming time, eastern areas will play a major role in the development of the country.