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It is a great pleasure and privilege to welcome President Maithripala Sirisena and Mrs. Sirisena to India.

We are honoured that you have chosen India as your first overseas destination.

Let me congratulate you on behalf of the people of India for your historic victory. The election reflects the strength of democracy in Sri Lanka.

Your mandate carries the collective voice of Sri Lanka. It represents the aspirations of your people for a united, inclusive peaceful and prosperous nation.

India is Sri Lanka`s closest neighbour and friend. The goodwill and support of the people of India will always be with you.

The timeless links of history, religion and culture provide a solid foundation of our partnership.

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We also share a broad range of interests - economic development for our countries; peace and prosperity in South Asia; maritime security in the region.

Indeed, I believe that our destinies are inter-linked. Our security and prosperity are indivisible.

President Sirisena and I had excellent discussions today on our bilateral relations and international issues.

President and I are committed to unlock the vast potential of our economic cooperation.

We are pleased to be Sri Lanka`s largest trading partner. I know that India enjoys a huge trade surplus. I expressed my support for a more balanced growth in trade in both directions.

I conveyed our readiness to promote greater flow of Indian investments and tourists into Sri Lanka.

We discussed expansion of cooperation in energy sector, both conventional and renewable.

Our Commerce Secretaries will meet soon to review our bilateral commercial relations.

We also intend to further improve air and sea connectivity between India and Sri Lanka.

The bilateral agreement on civil nuclear cooperation is yet another demonstration of our mutual trust. This is the first such agreement Sri Lanka has signed. It opens new avenues for cooperation, including in areas like agriculture and healthcare.

President and I also agreed to expand our defence and security cooperation. We welcomed the progress in our maritime security cooperation, including in the trilateral format with Maldives.

The Indian assisted projects for Internally Displaced Persons in Sri Lanka have made excellent progress. This includes the Housing Project, under which more than 27,000 houses have already been constructed. President and I expressed satisfaction with the progress.

I assured President Sirisena of India`s commitment to its development partnership with Sri Lanka. This will continue to cover a broad range of areas, including infrastructure. In this context, I am also pleased with the MoU on cooperation in agriculture.

President and I attach the highest importance to the fishermen`s issue. It affects livelihood on both sides. We agreed that there must be a constructive and humanitarian approach to the issue.

We will encourage the fishermen`s associations on both sides to meet again soon. They should find a solution that can be taken forward by both governments.

Like cricket, culture provides a strong bond between us. The Programme of Cultural Cooperation signed today will nurture those ties and promote contacts between people.

I am also delighted that Sri Lanka is now part of the Nalanda University Project.

It recalls a link forged 2300 years ago, by Prince Mahindra, known as Arhat Mahinda in Sri Lanka, and his sister Sanghamitra.They went to Sri Lanka as apostles of Buddhism.

Sri Lankan nationals visit the National Museum in New Delhi in large numbers to pay homage to the Kapilavastu relics. We have decided to reduce the fees for them.

I thanked the President for his invitation to me to visit Sri Lanka. I am eagerly looking forward to visiting his beautiful country in March.

I would like to once again welcome President Sirisena to India. We are at a moment of an unprecedented opportunity to take our bilateral relations to a new level. His visit today has set us firmly in that direction.

Thank you.

20 ವರ್ಷಗಳ ಸೇವಾ ಮತ್ತು ಸಮರ್ಪಣದ 20 ಚಿತ್ರಗಳು
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ಚಾಲ್ತಾ ಹೈ' ವರ್ತನೆಯನ್ನು ಬಿಟ್ಟು ಮತ್ತು ' ಬದಲ್ ಸಕ್ತ ಹೈ' ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಯೋಚಿಸುವ ಸಮಯವಿದು : ಪ್ರಧಾನಿ ಮೋದಿ
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Prime Minister Modi lived up to the trust, the dream of making India a superpower is in safe hands: Rakesh Jhunjhunwala
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Swayampurna Goa is the result of new team spirit of Team Goa: PM Modi
October 23, 2021
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“Apart from Nature and pleasure, Goa also signifies a new model of development, reflection of collective efforts and solidarity for development from Panchayat to Administration”
“Goa has achieved 100% in all major schemes such as ODF, electricity, piped water, ration to poor”
“ Swayampurna Goa is the result of new team spirit of Team Goa”
“Infrastructure being developed in Goa will also help in increasing the income of farmers, livestock farmers and our fishermen”
“States with tourism focus got special attention in vaccination drive and Goa benefited a great deal by that”

I welcome all the Goans who fulfilled the dream of Atmanirbhar Bharat through Swayampurna Goa. It is truly a delight that the needs of Goans could be met in Goa itself, owing to your tireless efforts.

During interaction with the beneficiaries of Swayampurna (self-sufficient) Goa, we all experienced the change and the self-confidence that follows when there is synergy between the government support and the hard work of the people. Dr. Pramod Sawant ji, the popular and energetic Chief Minister who showed Goa the path of this meaningful change, my senior colleague in the Union Cabinet Shripad Naik ji, Deputy CMs of Goa Shri Manohar Ajgaonkar ji and Shri Chandrakant Kavlekar ji, other ministers of the state government, MPs, MLAs, all representatives of local bodies, Zilla Parishad members, Panchayat members, other public representatives and my dear brothers and sisters of Goa!!

It is said that Goa means pleasure, Goa means nature and Goa means tourism. But today I will also say that Goa means a new model of development. Goa is a reflection of collective efforts. Goa means solidarity for development from panchayat to administration.

Friends,

Over the years, the country has come out of paucity to make its goal of meeting the needs and aspirations. Top priority has been given to provide those basic facilities to the countrymen who were deprived for decades. This year on 15th August, I had also mentioned from the Red Fort that we now have to take these schemes to the target of saturation i.e. 100 percent. Goa is playing a leading role in achieving these goals under the leadership of Pramod Sawant ji and his team. India set the goal of being free from open defecation. Goa achieved this target 100 percent. The country set a target of providing electricity connection to every household. Goa also achieved it 100 percent. Goa became the first state again in achieving the 100 percent target in Har Ghar Jal Abhiyan! Goa also scored 100 percent as far as free ration to the poor is concerned.

Friends,

Two days ago, India crossed the huge milestone of giving 100 crore vaccine doses. In this too, Goa has achieved 100 percent as far as the first dose is concerned. Goa is now putting all its efforts to achieve the 100 percent target for the second dose.

Brothers and sisters,

I am happy that Goa is not only successfully implementing but expanding the schemes of the Central Government for the convenience and dignity of women. Goa has done a great job in providing facilities to women, whether it is toilets, Ujjwala gas connections or Jan Dhan bank accounts. It is because of this reason that thousands of sisters got free gas cylinders and money could be deposited in their bank accounts during the Corona lockdown. The Government of Goa has also given a lot of facilities to the sisters by providing tap water to every household. Now the Goa government is working to make the lives of the sisters of Goa even better with schemes like Griha Aadhar and Deen Dayal Social Security.

Brothers and sisters,

The true potential is known when times are tough and there are challenges ahead. In the last one-and-a-half years, Goa not only faced the biggest pandemic of hundred years, but also endured the horrors of severe cyclones and floods. I realize the hardships caused to the tourism sector of Goa. But in the midst of these challenges, the Government of Goa and the Central Government were engaged in providing relief to the people of Goa with double the strength. We did not allow development works to stop in Goa. I would like to congratulate Pramod ji and his entire team for making Swayampurna Goa Abhiyan the basis of Goa's development. In order to accelerate this mission, another important step has been taken and that is 'Sarkar Tumchya Dari' (government at your doorstep).

Friends,

This is an extension of the pro-people, proactive governance spirit with which the country has been moving forward for the last seven years. Governance where the government itself goes to the citizens and solves their problems! Goa has developed a good model at the village, panchayat and district levels. I have full faith that Goa will be able to achieve the rest of the goals very soon with everyone's efforts just as it has been 100 percent successful in many of the Centre's campaigns so far.

Friends,

If I talk about Goa and there is no mention of football, it cannot be. Goa's craze for football is exceptional. Whether it is a defence or a forward in the game of football, all goals are (goal) oriented. While somebody has to save a goal and someone has to score a goal. This spirit of achieving their respective goals was never missing in Goa. But the earlier governments lacked a team spirit, to create a positive environment. For a long time, political interests prevailed over good governance in Goa. The political instability also harmed the development of the state. But in the last few years, the sensible people of Goa have converted this instability to stability. Pramod ji's team is sincerely giving new heights to Goa with the belief with which my friend late Manohar Parrikar ji took Goa forward. Today Goa is marching ahead with renewed confidence. The result of this new spirit of Team Goa is the resolve of Swayampurna Goa.

Brothers and sisters,

Goa also has a very rich rural economy and an attractive urban life. Goa also has farms and there are possibilities of development of a blue economy. Goa has everything needed for a self-reliant India. Therefore, the overall development of Goa is a big priority of the double engine government.

Friends,

The double engine government is paying special attention to the rural, urban and coastal infrastructure of Goa. Be it the second airport in Goa, the construction of a logistics hub, the second largest cable-bridge in India, the construction of a national highway with thousands of crores of rupees, all these projects are going to give new dimensions to the national and international connectivity of Goa.

Brothers and sisters,

The infrastructure being developed in Goa will also help in increasing the income of farmers, herdsmen and our fishermen. This year, Goa's fund has been increased five times as compared to earlier for modernization of its rural infrastructure. The central government has allocated Rs 500 crores to Goa for the development of its rural infrastructure. This will give a new impetus to the ongoing projects related to agriculture and animal husbandry.

Friends,

The Government of Goa is committed to the Central Government schemes of connecting farmers and fishermen with banks and markets. A large number of small farmers in Goa are either dependent on fruits and vegetables or engaged in the fisheries. Securing easy bank loans for these small farmers, herdsmen and fishermen was a big challenge. Keeping this problem in mind, the Kisan Credit Card scheme has been expanded. While small farmers are being given KCC on mission mode, herdsmen and fishermen are being linked to it for the first time. Hundreds of new Kisan Credit Cards have been issued in Goa in a short span of time and crores of rupees have been given. The farmers of Goa have greatly benefited from the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme. Due to such efforts, many new friends are also adopting farming. Within a year, the production of fruits and vegetables in Goa has increased by about 40 percent. Milk production has also increased by more than 20 percent. I am told that the Goa government has made record procurements from farmers this time.

Friends,

The food processing industry is going to be a major force of the Swayampurna Goa. Goa can become India's strength, especially in fish processing. India has been exporting raw fish for a long time. Indian fish are processed in East Asian countries and then reach the world markets. To change this situation, the fisheries sector is being helped on a large scale for the first time. Incentives are being given at every level, from creation of a separate ministry to modernization of fishermen's boats for fish trade. Our fishermen in Goa are also benefiting under the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana.

Friends,

The development of Goa's environment and tourism is directly linked to the development of India. Goa is an important center of India's tourism sector. The share of the tour, travel and hospitality industry is continuously increasing in India's fast growing economy. Naturally, Goa's share in this is also very high. For the last few years, every kind of help is being offered to give impetus to the tourism and hospitality sector. The Visa on Arrival facility has been expanded. In the last few years, the Central Government has given assistance of crores of rupees to Goa for the development of other tourism infrastructure besides connectivity.

Friends,

Special incentives have been given to the states of the country, including Goa, which are centers of tourism in India's vaccination campaign. Goa has also benefited a lot from this. Goa made round-the-clock efforts to administer the first dose of the vaccines to all the eligible people. Now the country has also crossed the 100 crore vaccine dose mark. This has increased the confidence of the people in the country and the tourists as well. Now that you are gearing up for Diwali, Christmas and New Year, this festive and holiday season will witness a new energy in Goa's tourism sector. The movement of both domestic and foreign tourists to Goa is definitely going to increase. This is a very good sign for the tourism industry of Goa.

Brothers and sisters,

Goa will become self-sufficient only when it will make 100 percent utilization of every such potential of development. Swayampurna Goa is the resolution to realize the aspirations of the common man. Swayampurna Goa is the trust of health, convenience, safety and dignity of mothers, sisters and daughters. In Swayampurna Goa, there are employment and self-employment opportunities for the youth. In Swayampurna Goa, there is a glimpse of Goa's prosperous future. This is not just a program of five months or five years, but it is the first step towards the vision for the next 25 years. Every person of Goa has to mobilize to reach this stage. Goa needs the continuation of the double engine development for this. Goa needs the existing explicit policy, a stable government and an energetic leadership. With the tremendous blessings of the whole of Goa, we will fulfill the resolve of Swayampurna Goa. With the same belief, wishing you all the very best!

Many thanks!