Belagavi (PTI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said if there was a ray of hope in the world economy, it was India, as he asserted that his government was committed to transform the lives of the poor and villages.
Addressing a farmers’ rally here, he also said that the Opposition spoke of many issues but there was not an allegation of corruption against his government ever since he has been serving as “pradhan sevak”.
“Today it is agreed that if there is a ray of hope in the world economy, it is India,” Modi said at the huge rally, organised as part of BJP’s nationwide outreach to farmers.
He cited ratings by various agencies and international institutions such as World Bank and IMF to buttress his point on India offering a “ray of hope”.
Modi said whether it was World Bank or IMF or world’s rating agency, all of them were saying in one voice that if there is any country “where there is a ray of hope, that ray of hope is India”.
“In the whole world, the economy is wavering. Even those countries who say they are experts are also going through economic problems,” he said.
In spite of disturbing environment of slowdown, India is making rapid strides in growth, he said.
On corruption, Modi said that when his government assumed office, the nation was tired of corruption.
“It’s been over 18 months since I’ve served you as Pradhan Sevak. Opposition speaks of many issues but not on allegation of corruption.”
He said when his government came to power, the entire country was disturbed by the issues of corruption.
“Only one issue was being heard in the air, on earth and water and that was corruption, corruption and only corruption.”
On the one hand, the trust in the country had fallen in the eyes of the world which was not prepared to take India into account.
India was also facing economic problems with corruption destroying the country like termites.
There was an environment of despair, he said.
Speaking about basing the country’s development on the three pillars of agriculture, manufacturing and the services sector, Modi said “we have focused on how our poor and farmers become more prosperous and more jobs, industries are created.”
“We’ve made many efforts in agriculture. The results are showing now, Our focus is irrigation. Give our farmers water and see wonders they can do,” he said.
Stressing that one has to think of interlinked rivers, he said water management is the need of the hour.
“Per drop, more crop. New methods of irrigation are vital and have helped farmers immensely. Along with Jal (water) we have to take care of the Jameen (land) of the farmer,” he said and referred to the Soil health card scheme of his government.
Modi, who devoted a good part of his speech to the recently launched ‘Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana’, an insurance scheme for farmers,said it has overcome shortcomings of the earlier crop insurance schemes.
Noting that only 20 out of 100 people used to avail crop insurance, he urged the farmers to see that at least 50 per cent became its beneficiaries.
“Then you see the whole situation will change. Thereafter there would not be any delay in reaching 100 per cent. The more you avail of the crop insurance, more money will flow from the coffers of the government. In spite of it, I want you all to join the crop insurance scheme,” he said.
Modi said that even if the coffers of the government are emptied, he wanted farmers to avail of the scheme. “To convey this, I have come to your doorsteps.”
The Prime Minister recalled that the Vajpayee government had first launched the crop insurance scheme, but under succeeding dispensations, farmers stopped trusting it.
Modi said the government had come out with a crop insurance scheme after hearing views of farmers and overcoming problems in earlier schemes.
“Whatever money we give to the farmers we want it to go directly to the Jan Dhan accounts, not let middlemen come in the picture. Our track record says it all.
“If farmers of India can trust anyone, it is our Government. We want to transform lives of poor and villages.”
On urea, Modi said when his government assumed office, states would write to the Centre for it but now they do not do so.
The government, he said, had also stopped theft in fertilisers and launched an initiative of neem coated urea, which was only on paper till now.
“… one important thing we have done is we have put an end to corruption and blackmarketing linked to urea.”
“These people who keep shouting and are worried against Modi. This is the reason for their worry and anger against me – that I have put an end to black marketing and corruption…”
“Modi pricks their eyes because for five years they ate things for free (mufat ki malai khayi hui hai) and that has been closed now, this is the reason.”
Modi reminded farmers of his promise before the (Lok Sabha) elections that till he was here, no one would be able to lay their hands on Delhi’s treasury.
“Today we have been able to stop malpractices in fertilisers and have brought in neem coated urea,” he said.