The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today described the elected MPs of Lok Sabha as custodians of the hope and aspirations of millions of Indians. Shri Modi said the President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, had appreciated the verdict of the elections, and he too, thanks the people for voting for stability, good governance, and development. He said the Government is committed to fulfilling this responsibility. Replying to the debate on the motion of thanks on the President's address to Parliament in Lok Sabha, he said he had carefully heard the views of more than 50 MPs who had participated in the debate. 

He said it was natural for some MPs to ask how and when we will be able to fulfil people's aspirations. Giving an example of the beginning of his tenure as Gujarat Chief Minister, the Prime Minister said he had expressed an intention in the Vidhan Sabha that he wanted the villages of Gujarat to get 24 hours power supply. Similar apprehensions had been expressed then. But that desire had been achieved. 

The Prime Minister said that for this Government, the President's address is not a mere ritual or tradition, but an inspiration, which has its own sanctity. He called upon all members of the Lok Sabha to work towards achieving the goals mentioned therein. He said the elected members of Lok Sabha are now the custodians of the hope and aspirations of the people. 

Shri Modi said he saw a constructive atmosphere throughout the debate. The hopes of 125 crore Indians echoed in the House. This, he said, was a good sign. 

Talking of the common man's faith in India`s democratic traditions, he said this faith is worth showcasing to the entire world. He remarked that India had more voters than the population of USA and Europe. 

Shri Narendra Modi said the Government should work for the poor. He said if the Government did not pay heed to the needs of the poor, the people would never forgive it. And therefore, the Government would devote all its effort to empower the poor, and give the poor the strength to fight poverty. 

The Prime Minister referred to the term "rurban" mentioned in the President's address and said that the country's economy would be benefited a lot if urban amenities were provided in rural areas – suvidhaa shahar ki, aatma gaon ki. The Prime Minister said there must greater focus on agro-technology that includes agro-based industries and better soil-testing facilities. Despite being recognized as a global leader in Information Technology, we still do not have real-time data of agro-products, the Prime Minister said. 

Giving the example of Sikkim emerging as a big producer of organic food, he asked why the entire north-east cannot be made an organic hub to meet the emerging global demand for organic produce. He said we have agri-universities, but the transition from "lab to land" is not happening to the extent that it should. The Prime Minister said his promise to reduce inflation is not an empty slogan – it is a resolve, because the poorest of the poor too must have sufficient food to eat. 

Shri Modi said women need to become partners in decision-making. 50 percent of India's population need to be made equal partners, and need to feel secure. He said the recent events in Pune, Uttar Pradesh, and Manali must force all of us to introspect. And corrective measures must be taken. The country will not wait for long – our conscience too will not forgive us if we do not act – the Prime Minister said. 

Shri Modi made a fervent appeal to all political leaders across the country to stop psychologically analysing rape. "Can't we keep quiet," he appealed to political leaders. 

Referring to India's demographic dividend, the Prime Minister said this only underlines the need for skill development. Skill development should be accompanied by a spirit of "Shram-ev Jayate" – giving dignity to labour. Our identity in the world must change from "Scam-India" to "Skill India." 

The Prime Minister said, all organs of the human body needed to be fit in order for a person to be healthy. Similarly, all sections of the society, and all regions of the country needed to be prosperous, in order to make India prosperous. He said his Government does not want to move forward on numbers, but on unity and consensus. 

Referring to the Gujarat model, Shri Modi said the Gujarat model has tried to imbibe whatever best practices were being followed in any part of India. India is a diverse country, and therefore, any best practice being followed in any part of India should become our model. The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction that at least a competition on development, is now emerging among states. He said his Government does not believe in big-brother attitude among states, but in cooperative federalism. 

Concluding his reply, Shri Modi referred to the freedom struggle, and how Mahatma Gandhi had turned it into a mass movement. We need to make the quest for good governance a similar struggle. There should be competition among states for development, the Prime Minister said. 

He asked for a resolve to present a clean India – Swachh Bharat – to the memory of the Mahatma on his 150th anniversary in 2019. He also called for building an India of the freedom fighters` dreams. He urged all MPs to resolve to ensure that every family in India has a house, with basic amenities of water, power and sanitation, on India's 75th anniversary of independence in 2022. The Prime Minister said a way would be found to achieve this, and he would seek the help and cooperation of all senior leaders in this endeavour. 

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PM Modi interacts with farmers from over 600 districts across India
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The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today interacted with farmers across the country, through video bridge. Over 2 lakh Common Service Centres (CSC) and 600 Krishim Vigyan Kendras (KVK) were connected through the video dialogue. This is the seventh interaction in the series by the Prime Minister through video conference with various beneficiaries of Government schemes.

Expressing happiness in interacting with farmers from over 600 districts, Prime Minister said that farmers are the ‘Annadatas’ (food providers) of our nation. He said that the entire credit for nation’s food security should go to the farmers.

Prime Minister’s interaction with the farmers covered wide range of agriculturaland allied sectors like Organic Farming, Blue Revolution, Animal Husbandry, Horticulture, Floriculture etc.

Outlining his vision for farmers overall welfare in the country, Prime Minister said that government is working towards doubling the farmer’s income by 2022 and to provide farmers maximum price of their produce. He added that the effort is to ensure that farmers receive help during all steps of farming, from preparation of crops to its sales.He emphasized that Government is keenon ensuring minimal cost of raw material, providing fair value for the produce, stopping wastage of the produce and ensuring alternate sources of income for the farmers.

He said that the Government is committed that farmers should feel that from ‘Beej Se Bazaar’ (Seed to Market), how various initiatives helped the farmers to improve traditional farming.

Talking about the transformationof the farming sector, Shri Narendra Modi said that the agriculture sector has developed rapidly in the last 48 months. He added that there has been record production of milk, fruits and vegetables in the country during the period.

Government has also almost doubled the budget provision for agricultural sector (2014-2019) to Rs. 2,12,000crore compared to Rs. 1,21,000 during thepast five years of the previous government. Similarly, food grain production has increased to more than 279 million tonnes in 2017-2018 compared to average of 255 million tonnes during 2010-2014. The period also saw 26 % increase in fish farming due to Blue Revolution and 24% increase in Animal Husbandry and milk production.

Interacting with the famers’, Prime Minister said that to ensure the overall welfare of the farmer, government has provided Soil Health Cards;credit through Kisan Credit Cards; quality fertilizers through the provision ofNeem coated Urea, crop insurance through FasalBimaYojana and irrigation through Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana. Under the PM Krishi Sinchai Yojana , about 100 irrigation projects are being completed across the country today and around 29 lakh hectare land has been brought under irrigation.

Government also started the e-NAM, an online platform, enabling farmers to sell their produce at the right price. In the past four years, more than 585 regulated wholesale markets have been brought under e-NAM.Government has also brought nearly 22 lakh hectare land is under organic farming, compared to just 7 lakh hectares in 2013-2014. Government also plans to promote North-East as the hub of Organic Farming.

During the interaction, Prime Minister expressed delight in the collective strength displayed by the farmers through the formation ofFarmer Producer Group and FPO (Farmer Producer Organisation), enabling them to get agricultural inputs at low cost and marketing their produce effectively. In the past 4 years, 517 Farmer Producer Organizations have been created and income tax exemption has been granted to Farmer Producer Companies, to encourage cooperatives amongst farmers.

Interacting with the Prime Minister, beneficiaries of various agricultural schemes explained howvarious government schemes helped improve production. Beneficiariesalso highlighted the importance of Soil Health Card and shared their experiences of cooperative movement.