Shri Banwarilal Purohitji, my colleague in the Union Cabinet, Mr Pon Radhakrishnanji, Dr Balchandran, Dr Vijayan, Ms Tamilisai Soundararajan, distinguished guests, all the farmer brothers and sisters from across Tamil Nadu and my young friends, ladies and gentlemen.
Vanakkam! I would like to pay my respects to the two jawans from Tamil Nadu, Subramanian G from Tuticorn and Sivachandran C from Ariyalur district, who laid down their lives, gave the supreme sacrifice so that all of us can live in peace and harmony.
Today is also the birthday of Tamil Nadu’s beloved leader Dr J Jayalalithaji, our very beloved and revered leader of Tamil Nadu. She has been Chief Minister five times. She was called the Iron Lady of Tamil Nadu, and was truly a nationalist.
In fact, it’s a very happy coincidence that the alliance between AIADMK whose leader will always be Dr Jayalalitha and the Bharatiya Janata Party was finalised on her star birthday. And today, this very important Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) scheme is being launched all over India by honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on Amma’s birthday.
I would like to thank Prime Minister Modi for launching PM-Kisan on Amma’s birthday, which is a fitting tribute to the memory of Amma.
Today’s scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, is a humble gesture, a small gesture, a mark of respect to our annadatas. As Prime Minister Modi says, ‘the farmer produces food grain for the whole country and makes sure that nobody sleeps hungry in India. India is a land of farmers and farmers are the soul of India. No government in India in the last 70 years after independence, no leader of India has ever thought of the farmers as much as Prime Minister Modi.
Every small and marginal farmer with landholding up to five acres, somebody has half acre, one acre, one and a half acre, these small farmers will get Rs 6000 every year, forever, every year Rs 6000. So in next 10 years they will get Rs 60,000. All over India, nearly 12 crore farmers will get Rs 6000 every year. I am told in Tamil Nadu alone, nearly 70 lakh farmers will get Rs 60,000 every year. 70 lakh families will have additional income, which will help them for their small requirements and will be paid Rs 2000 every 4 months.
At the time when he is sowing his crop, this Rs 2000 and now we have three crops a year, three times farmers like to sow their crop. Every time he is sowing the crop, this money will come very useful. This money cannot be adjusted against the loan account. It will be money that will be available to farmers in their hand.
I was just seeing how much money has been allocated for this scheme. Rs 75,000 crore every year will be given to the farmers. There is no other scheme in India, not a single other scheme with Rs 75,000 crore allocation for one scheme.
This is a mark of respect for the big contribution that all of you are doing for India. If one looks at the amount that is totally allocated for farmers in the budget, on 1st February we gave our budget, Rs 1,41,000 crore has been kept for agriculture and allied activities. Rs 1,41,000 crores in one year.
The government before Prime Minister Modi from 2009 to ’14, in five years, had given total allocation in budget of only 1,21,000 crores in five years. So, my young friends will understand, five years – 1,21,000 crores, in one year – 1,41,000 crores. That is the way we have increased our money that we will spend for farmers, almost six times.
We have also done some more changes to benefit the farmers and the fishermen of Tamil Nadu. A new department of fisheries will be set up. There are nearly one and a half crore fishermen in India, and specially in Tamil Nadu very large number of fishermen. Now the fishermen will also get a loan at only 4%, just like the farmers. 2% will be interest concession on the loan and when the timely repayment is done, 3% additional concession will be given. So 9% loan will reduce to 4%.
Prime Minister Modi cares for the farmers and, therefore, you must have seen that all the recommendations that Dr MS Swaminathan had given we have started implementing and now the Minimum Support Price will be at least one and a half times the cost of production for all the 22 major food grains that are produced in India.
There is no shortage of fertilizers anymore anywhere in the country. I am told the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana also was very beneficial to the farmers of Tamil Nadu. We are committed to double the farmers’ income by 2022. Today, all of us pay our deepest respects to the farmers of India who toil in the sun and in the rain, day and night, so that our children and all of us can be hungry. I pay my respects and my pranams to all the farmers of India, to all the farmers of Tamil Nadu.
Thank you very much
February 24, 2019 Speaking at the launch of PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana in Chennai