In his monthly radio address, Mann Ki Baat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday said every expense incurred by a farmer, including his labour, will be considered while fixing the minimum support price (MSP) at 1.5 times the input cost.
He said a major decision was taken in this year’s budget to ensure adequate returns to farmers when the government decided to give at least one-and-a-half times the input costs as MSP for the scheduled crops.
Modi said while calculating MSP, the input cost to be considered will include the labour cost, expenditure on machines and animals, hire cost of seeds, fertilisers, irrigation, land revenue, interest on working capital, rent of leased land and even the labour cost of the farmer and his family.
“Further, to ensure adequate income to farmers, agriculture marketing reforms are being initiated in a big way. Efforts are being made to link village markets to wholesale market and global market,” he said.
He said that to ensure that farmers do not have to go far to sell their produce, 22,000 village haats are being upgraded to agricultural produce market committees (APMCs) and being integrated with e-NAM (National Agriculture Market) platform.
“Such a system is being evolved that farms can be connected to any market in the country,” Modi said. He invoked Mahatma Gandhi to stress upon importance of agriculture. “To forget how to dig earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves,” he quoted Gandhi as saying. He hailed role of leaders such as Lal Bahadur Shastri, Ram Manohar Lohia, Charan Singh and Devi Lal for recognising agriculture and the farmer as vital aspects of the nation’s economy.
The Prime minister said on the occasion of Bhimrao Ambedkar’s birth anniversary, ‘Gram-Swaraj Abhiyan’ is being organised from April 14 to May 5. He said Ambedkar showed us that to succeed it is not necessary to be born in an illustrious or rich family and added that he is an example of Ambedkar’s philosophy.
“…many people mocked Ambedkar, tried to pull him back and made every possible effort to ensure that the son of an impoverished and backward family does not progress in life, be something and succeed in life. But, the picture of new India is altogether different. It is an India which is Ambedkar’s India, of the poor and the backward,” Modi said.
Years ago, Modi said, Ambedkar spoke of India’s industrialisation as a means to generate jobs and push development. “Today, the campaign of Make in India is progressing successfully in consonance with Ambedkar’s dream of India as an industrial super power — that vision of his has become our inspiration today,” the PM said.
“Baba Saheb had strong faith in self-reliance. He did not want anybody to languish in poverty forever. He also believed that poverty cannot be ameliorated by mere distribution of capital…Today our monetary policy, Start Up India, Stand Up India initiative have become seedbed for our young innovators and young entrepreneurs,” Modi said.
He said healthcare should be affordable and accessible to all. The cost of stents, he said, has been reduced by 85 per cent. The Prime Minister also shared inspirational stories of citizens who made efforts to bring a change to the society. He shared a story of Kolkata cab driver Saidul Laskar who lost his sister as she could not be treated on time. “He then decided to build a hospital so that no poor ever dies due to absence of medical facility,” Modi said.