Northeast cannot be ignored: Union Minister
Fund allocation for RKVY reduced: Kaito informs Tomar
DIMAPUR, JUNE 27: Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar on Monday said that the Government of India cannot ignore the Northeast Region when it has envisioned all-round and balanced development in the country under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The Government of India believes that when Northeast develops, the country develops and when Northeast moves forward, the country moves forward”, he said while addressing a gathering at Northeast Agri Expo, Chumukedima.
The Union Minister disclosed that while the Government has laid special emphasis on development of the Northeastern region of the country, it has been trying to make the region self-reliant through various schemes, funding pattern and various projects.
“The Government wants to see that Northeast does not depend on others, but stand up on its own feet and provide support to bring reforms to the country”, Tomar said adding for which the Prime Minister has time and again travelled to the Northeast and even told his Cabinet Ministers to visit the region every 2 to 3 months, understand their problems and if possible try to solve them, make them feel that the Central Government is standing with them with its schemes and projects.
“When the leader of a country is strong and capable, then it is easy for the citizens to move forward. One aspect is that if the citizens are devoted, then the leadership gets the strength and both forces together face the challenges of the country and find solution to the problems and in this way they are able to reach their goals”, Tomar said.
He said that the Government is trying to give priority to the NE since it has remained neglected for long.
In the last 8 years, the Government has tried to focus on poverty, inequality and unemployment problems, he said adding the Government wants to remove inequality from the society. In this regard, PM Modi has taken a pledge to work for the poor, he further said.
Citing the statement of PM Modi from his Independence Day Speech, the Minister said a country where 50% people are not connected with banks that country cannot dream of progress. So PM Modi brought the Jan-Dhan Account scheme.
He said at that time people thought what would they do by opening the account when there is no money but people did not understand the far-sightedness of PM Modi.
On the other hand, Tomar said the banks thought how was it possible to open accounts for so many people and wondered it would be a big thing if 1 lakh accounts open in a year and it was impossible to open crores of new accounts, Prime Minister had taken the pledge to remove inequality and this was one step towards it.
Tomar said due to PM’s initiative, 42 crore people opened the Jan-Dhan account and today the poor people of the country have deposited Rs 1,46,000 crore in those accounts, which is giving a boost to the economy of the country.
“This is the strength of the poor people of the country”, he said and added that that through the PM Kisan Nidhi scheme, the Government has provided Rs 6000 each to 11,50,00,000 farmers of the country directly in their bank accounts.
“If the farmers had no bank accounts, if DBT technology was not used, then how could Rs 6000 money reach the farmers in remote villages of the Northeast?” he asked.
He said it is due to the modern and transparent policies of the Government that 11,50,00,000 farmers of the country has received a total of Rs 2,03,000 crores and that too without any middleman or dalals.
He also mentioned that to help the people of the country during the COVID pandemic, the Government had opened the PDS and provided food grains free of cost.
“During COVID, 80 crore people have been given free ration and other facilities were also provided by the Centre”, he said.
At the same time, the Government had provided Rs 1500 each to 20,65,00,000 women bank account holders to meet other needs. Thereby, the Government was able to transfer Rs 30200 crore in a single day, he disclosed.
He said the country is now moving towards reforms, and is able to take its own decisions. Today the whole world looks upon India for help. He also cited how the COVID vaccine was prepared by India during the pandemic by Indian scientists and how India managed to supply those vaccines to at least 90 countries of the world.
Later, he also answered queries from the media.
Nagaland Minister for Agriculture, G Kaito Aye, in his address, informed the Union Minister that the State of Nagaland is performing well in Agriculture and Allied Sector amongst the Smaller States of the Indian Union.
He said Agriculture and Allied Departments are giving their best effort in transforming these sectors into a sustainable and viable livelihood option both for the farming community as well as for the unemployed youths. He also mentioned that in the recent past the State has received the ‘Krishi Karman’ Award consecutively for 2 years for food grains production under the Small States category.
Explaining the various Central schemes being implemented in Nagaland, Kaito lamented that the allocation for RKVY has been reduced in the recent years therefore requested the Union Minister to increase the fund allocation for this scheme.
He further said that despite facing adverse challenges, the Agriculture and Allied Department has over the years, immensely contributed towards development of agriculture and allied activities in the State and towards uplifting the livelihood of farmers. However, despite the best efforts, there seems to be some gaps both in implementation and policy issues, he added.
Chief Secretary, J Alam said that the State good grain production has significantly progressed from 62,000 MT in 1963-64 to more than 7.5 lakh MT during 2020-21 with the use of improved farming technologies with the assistance from Government of India.
However he said the State faced drought like situation last year which has reduced the production to a great extent
He also informed it has been widely acknowledged that the traditional system of Jhum or shifting cultivation is not economically viable or ecologically sustainable despite the best efforts of the farmers. He said the State has adopted the Naga Model of Integrated Settled Farming, which is being implemented in convergence with all Agri and Allied Departments in a single cluster and it includes integrated farming along with associated activities.
The Chief Secretary further said that the State is emphasizing more on organic farming not only to get premium price for the farmers but also to provide healthy and nutritious food to its citizens.
Earlier in the morning, Union Minister Tomar launched the Honey Testing Laboratory at Chumoukedima, which will help beekeepers and processors for testing the honey produced. He also visited the Bamboo Museum and Organic AC Market. During these events, the Agriculture Minister of Nagaland, G Kaito, Chief Secretary Alam, Central Horticulture Commissioner Prabhat Kumar, other senior officers and distinguished people, farmers and scientists were present.
(Page News Service)