The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone and inaugurated multiple development projects worth more than Rs 2,700 crore in Belagavi, Karnataka today. He released the 13th installment amounting to about Rs. 16,000 crores under PM-KISAN. The Prime Minister dedicated the redeveloped Belagavi Railway Station building to the nation. He also laid the foundation stone of six multi-village scheme projects under Jal Jeevan Mission.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that the incomparable love and blessings of the people of Belagavi inspire the government to work for the welfare of the people and become a source of strength. “Coming to Belgavi is no less than a pilgrimage”, the Prime Minister said as he highlighted that it is the land of Queen Chennamma of Kittur and revolutionary Krantiveer Sangolli Rayanna who are remembered even today for raising their voice against the colonial rule.
The Prime Minister highlighted the contributions of Belagavi and said that it finds a place in the fight for today and the reemergence of India. Drawing an analogy to the startup culture of Karnataka, the Prime Minister said that Belagavi was home to startups hundred years ago and gave the example of Baburao Pusalkar who established a unit which turned Belagavi into a base for various industries. The Prime Minister emphasized that the double-engine government wants to further strengthen this role of Belagavi in the present decade.
Throwing light on the projects whose foundation stones are laid and those that are inaugurated today, the Prime Minister said that it will bring in new energy and pace in the development of Belagavi. He congratulated the citizens of this region for projects worth hundreds of crores associated with connectivity and water facilities. Through Belagavi, the Prime Minister said that every farmer in the nation has received a special gift where another tranche of funds from PM-KISAN was released. “Just by the click of a button, 16,000 crore rupees have been transferred to the bank accounts of crores of farmers in the country”, the Prime Minister remarked. He said that such a huge amount transferred without the involvement of a middleman has also drawn the attention of people from across the world. Drawing comparisons to the Congress regime, the Prime Minister recalled that the then Prime Minister said that only 15 paise reaches the poor when 1 rupee is transferred. “But this is Modi ki Sarkar”, the Prime Minister interjected, “Every penny belongs to you and it is for you.” The Prime Minister also wished a very prosperous Holi to all the farmers of India and said that they have received a special gift before Holi.
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The Prime Minister said that today’s changing India is accomplishing development projects one after the other while giving priority to the deprived and mentioned that small farmers are a priority for the current government. He informed that till now 2.5 lakh crore rupees have been deposited in the accounts of the small farmers via PM KISAN Samman Nidhi out of which more than 50 thousand crores were deposited in the accounts of women farmers. This money, the Prime Minister said, is taking care of the small but critical needs of the farmers.
The Prime Minister reiterated that the agricultural budget of the country which was 25,000 crores before 2014 has now been increased to 1,25,000 crores which is a five-time increase. He said that it is proof of the BJP government’s commitment to supporting the farmers of the country. The Prime Minister emphasized the use of technology which is directly benefiting the farmers and gave the example of Jan Dhan bank accounts, mobile connections and aadhar. He underlined that the government is connecting farmers to Kisan Credit Cards with the objective that the farmers can avail of the support of banks at any required step.
The Prime Minister emphasized that this year’s Budget addresses the future needs of agriculture along with the current concerns. He said today’s need is for storage and reducing the costs in farming, organizing small farmers. That is why this Budget emphasizes storage facilities and focuses on cooperatives. Similarly, focusing on natural farming will reduce the costs for the farmer. He said measures like the PM PRANAM scheme will further reduce the expenses on fertilizers.
“The Government is focussed on strengthening the agricultural sector of India while analyzing the challenges of the future”, the Prime Minister remarked. Highlighting the challenge of climate change, the Prime Minister stressed reviving the traditional strength of coarse grains or millets and informed that these food grains have the capability to withstand any climate. Referring to this year’s budget, the Prime Minister highlighted that coarse grains have a new found identity as Shri Anna. He added that Karnataka has been the main center of millets where Shri Anna was popularly known as Shri Dhanya and different kinds of Shri Anna are cultivated by the farmers of the region. The Prime Minister recalled the significant campaign run by the then BS Yeddyurappa government to promote Shri Anna and said that we now have to present it to the world. Listing out the benefits of Shri Anna, the Prime Minister said that it requires less effort as well as less water while it doubles the benefits for farmers.
The Prime Minister spoke at length about the needs of sugarcane farmers as Karnataka is a major sugarcane state. He mentioned this year’s Budget provision providing rebate on tax on cooperative sugarcane payment of the amount payable before 2016-17 which will give relief to the sugar cooperative to the tune of 10 thousand crores. Speaking about the government’s push for ethanol blending, the Prime Minister informed that the production of ethanol is helping in increasing the income of sugarcane farmers. He informed that ethanol blending in petrol has increased from 1.5 percent to 10 percent in the last 9 years and the government is already targeting 20 percent ethanol blending in petrol.
The Prime Minister remarked that agriculture, industry, tourism and education are strengthened only with better connectivity. He informed that in the five years prior to 2014, the total budget of the Railways in Karnataka was Rs 4,000 crore whereas this year, 7,500 crore rupees have been allocated for the railways in Karnataka. He noted that work is underway in Karnataka on railway projects worth about 45 thousand crore rupees today. He also referred to the newly inaugurated modern railway station in Belagavi and said that it is not just the facilities that get a boost but the faith in the railways is also increasing. “Many stations in Karnataka are being brought to the fore in such a modern avatar”, he said. The Prime Minister mentioned that the doubling of the Londa-Ghatprabha line will make the journey faster and safer. Noting that Belagavi is an important hub for education, tourism and healthcare, the Prime Minister said that the improved railway connectivity will give a boost to these sectors.
“The double-engine government is a guarantee for fast-paced development”, the Prime Minister said. Giving the example of Jal Jeevan Mission, the Prime Minister informed that only 25 percent of households in Karnataka’s villages had piped water connections before 2019 whereas the coverage has expanded to 60 percent today. In Belagavi too, the Prime Minister said that less than 2 lakh houses used to get tap water but this number has crossed 4.5 lakhs today. He said that 60,000 crore rupees have been allocated in this budget for this.
“The government is engaged in empowering every small section of the society which was neglected by the previous governments”, the Prime Minister remarked. Noting that Belagavi has been a city of artisans and handicrafts men famous as Venugram i.e. bamboo village, the Prime Minister recalled how previous governments had banned the harvesting of bamboo for a long time but it is the present government that reformed the law and opened the way for bamboo cultivation and trade. He also touched upon the PM Vishwakarma Yojana that was introduced for the first time in this year’s budget to support artisans and handicrafts men.
The Prime Minister pointed out the Congress government’s abomination for Karnataka where disrespecting the leaders of Karnataka became a tradition. “History is proof of how leaders like S Nijalingappa and Virendra Patil ji were insulted before the Congress family”, the Prime Minister remarked. Speaking about his adoration and respect for Mallikarjun Kharge ji and his devotion to public service, the Prime Minister expressed sadness at how the most senior member was not even considered worthy of being given an umbrella in the scorching sun at a Congress function in Chhattisgarh. “Kharge ji is the Congress President, but the entire world knows who holds the remote control by the way he is treated”, the Prime Minister interjected. Shri Modi pointed out that many political parties in the country are plagued by ‘parivarvaad’ (nepotism) and stressed the need to free the country from its clutches. He also warned the people of Karnataka to stay alert from parties like Congress.
Concluding the address, the Prime Minister said, “True development takes place when work is carried out with true intentions.” He highlighted the true intentions of the double-engine government and its commitment to development. “To speed up the development of Karnataka and the country, we have to move ahead with Sabka Prayas”, the Prime Minister concluded.
Chief Minister of Karnataka, Shri Basvaraj Bommai, Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Pralhad Joshi, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Ms Shobha Karandlaje and Ministers from Government of Karnataka were present on the occasion among others.
In a step that will showcase yet another example of the commitment of the Prime Minister towards the welfare of farmers, the 13th installment amount of about Rs. 16,000 crores under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) was released through direct benefits transfer to more than 8 crore beneficiaries. Under the scheme, eligible farmer families are provided with a benefit of Rs. 6000 per year in three equal installments of Rs. 2000 each.
During the Programme, the Prime Minister dedicated the redeveloped Belagavi Railway Station building to the nation. This Railway Station is redeveloped at an approximate cost of about Rs 190 Crore to provide world-class amenities to the passengers. Another railway project that will be dedicated to the nation by the Prime Minister is the rail line doubling project between Londa-Belagavi-Ghataprabha section at Belagavi. This project, developed at the cost of about Rs 930 Crores, will enhance line capacity along the busy Mumbai – Pune – Hubballi – Bengaluru railway line, promoting trade, commerce and economic activities in the region.
The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone of six multi-village scheme projects under Jal Jeevan Mission in Belagavi, which will be developed at a cumulative cost of about Rs 1585 crore and will benefit about 8.8 lakh population of more than 315 villages.