Farm reforms will help turn farmers into entrepreneurs: PM Modi

Terming the farm reforms as historic, the prime minister said, "Today opportunities are being created to take farming and farmers from the role of annadata (food provider) to entrepreneurship."
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said his government's 'historic' farm reforms will create opportunities to take farmers to entrepreneurship and added his regime is focused on increasing their income.

PM Modi was speaking after releasing the autobiography of former Union Minister Balasaheb Vikhe Patil and renaming the Pravara Rural Education Society in Ahmednagar district after the Padma Bhushan recipient, via video conferencing.

Terming the farm reforms as historic, the prime minister said, "Today opportunities are being created to take farming and farmers from the role of annadata (food provider) to entrepreneurship."

Referring to high milk, sugar, and wheat production in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, and Punjab, PM Modi said such models of local enterprise will take the country forward.

He said there was a time after Independence when the country did not have sufficient food stock.

"The government's priority then was to increase food production. So the entire focus was on increasing production. Farmers toiled hard to achieve the objective," the Prime Minister said.

"But governments and policies did not pay attention towards profitability of farmers while being concerned about increasing productivity. People forgot about income for farmers. But for the first time, this thinking has been changed," he said and listed steps the Centre has taken for the welfare of farmers.

Noting that the COVID-19 threat still persists, PM Modi called for observing social distancing norms and maintaining effective personal hygiene.

In another development, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday announced a Rs 73,000 crore package, including advance payment of a part of wages to central government employees and cash in lieu of LTC, to stimulate consumer demand and investment in the economy damaged by the coronavirus pandemic.

As much as Rs 11,575 crore would be paid as LTC allowance, and advance to central government and PSU employees on the condition that they spend on non-essential goods before March 31, she said.

(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)

Edited by Kanishk Singh