Effective Covid-19 response is success of whole nation: PM

“MSP is there, MSP was there. MSP will remain in the future”

GN Bureau | February 8, 2021


#Covid-19   #Pandemic   #healthcare   #democracy   #agriculture   #nationalism   #parliament  


India’s effective handling of the Covid-19 pandemic is not the success of an individual or a party but is the success of the nation and should be celebrated as such, prime minister Narendra Modi said on Monday, while replying in parliament to the motion of thanks on the president’s address.

India has seen days when there was a large threat of polio and small pox. Nobody knew whether India will get a vaccine or how many people will get it. From those days, he 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.

Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, Modi 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 its Independence will be a century, the PM said.

Addressing criticism, he said 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, he 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,” he said.

Modi said when many countries are deprived of foreign investment during the Corona times, India received record investments. He 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. Modi said there are challenges and we have to decide whether we want to be part of the solution or the problem.

The PM informed the house 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. 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 Modi. Why should not they have the same freedom as dairy sector to work with private or cooperative sector, he asked.

Problems of agriculture should be resolved and there is a need to work for this. The PM invited all the parties to move forward for the welfare of the farmers. He 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 PM 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 PM also insisted that attempt should be made to bridge the urban-rural divide.

He 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.

Modi 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.

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