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PM inaugurates the Nano Urea (Liquid) Plant constructed at IFFCO, Kalol
“Cooperation is a great medium for the self-sufficiency of the village, it has the energy of AtmaNirbhar Bharat”
“High prices and lack of availability in the global market due to the pandemic and war were not allowed to trouble the farmers”
“Union Government gave fertilizer subsidy of Rs 1 lakh 60 thousand crore last year, this year this subsidy is going to be more than Rs 2 lakh crore”
“Whatever was necessary for the interest of the farmers of the country was done and we will continue to strengthen the farmers of the country”
“Solution to many of India's difficulties in self-reliance. Co-operative is a great model of self-reliance“
“Government is continuously moving forward to connect the spirit of cooperation with the spirit of the Amrit Kaal”

Bharat Mata ki Jai!

The popular Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Bhupendra Bhai Patel; my cabinet colleagues Amit Bhai Shah, Mansukh Bhai Mandaviya; my Parliamentary colleague CR Patil; Minister of the Gujarat Government Jagdish Bhai Vishwakarma, MPs, Legislators, all the ministers of the Gujarat Government; all senior dignitaries associated with the cooperative movement! Another major event is running parallel to it in the IFFCO premises. My greetings to the IFFCO Chairman Dileep Bhai, all the members of IFFCO as well as the lakhs of farmers from across the country who are connected to the Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Today we are talking about 'Sahkar Se Samrudhi' here. ‘Cooperative’ is also a great medium for the self-reliance of the villages and it holds the energy of self-reliant India. To build a self-reliant India, it is very crucial for the village to be self-reliant. And that's why according to the path shown by Pujya Bapu and Sardar Sahib, today we are moving forward in that direction, to set up model cooperative villages. Six such villages have already been identified in Gujarat, where complete cooperative systems will be implemented.

Friends,

Today, even while dedicating the country's first Nano Urea Plant for self-reliant agriculture, I was really feeling immense pleasure. Just imagine the scenario when the farmer goes to collect the bag of urea. Just think about that situation and l will give you the description of what exactly is going to happen. Now the power of one sack of urea is available in just one bottle. That is, half a litre bottle of nano urea will meet the requirement of one bag full of urea for the farmers. The cost of transportation and everything else will be reduced drastically! Just imagine the huge support this initiative is going to provide to the small farmers.

Friends,

The modern plant which is set up in Kalol has the capacity to produce 1.5 lakh bottles. But in the future, 8 more such plants are going to be set up in the country. This will reduce foreign dependence on urea and save the country's money. I hope this innovation will not be limited to nano urea only. I am sure that in future other nano fertilizers will also be available to our farmers. Our scientists are still working on that.

Friends,

I would like every countryman to understand the importance of the step we have taken towards self-reliance in nanotechnology for fertilizers. India is the world's second largest consumer of fertilizers but we are at number three in terms of production. Moreover, till 7-8 years ago, most of the urea used to land in black market instead of going to our farms and the farmer had to face hardship. The major urea factories were also compelled to shut down due to lack of new technology. Hence after the formation of the government in 2014, we took the initiative of 100% neem coating of urea. This ensured sufficient urea supply to the farmers of the country. Besides, we also took the initiative of restarting those five closed fertilizer factories in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and Telangana. And of those, the factories of UP and Telangana have been reopened and the production is also going on. And the rest will also start production very soon.

Friends,

India has been heavily dependent on foreign countries for decades to meet its requirement of fertilizers. We import fertilizers. We import almost a quarter of our requirements and our needs for potash and phosphate are met by almost 100% importing from abroad. In the last 2 years, due to the Corona lockdown, the prices of fertilizers in the international market have increased a lot. On top of that, the war aggravated the situation. The war not only limited the availability of fertilizers in the global market but also increased the prices manifold.

Friends,

Our government that is sensitive towards the farmers realized that the international situation was worrisome. Prices are rising and we are looking at every nook and corner of the world to obtain fertilizers. These are troubled times; there are difficulties. So, we have decided that we will continue to bear all these troubles but will not let the farmers get affected by it. And that's why in spite of every difficulty, we did not allow any major fertilizer crisis to hit the country.

Friends,

India imports urea from abroad and a 50 kg bag of urea costs Rs 3500. Mind it, a bag costs Rs 3500! But in the villages of the country, the same urea bag which is bought at Rs 3500 is given to the farmers for only Rs 300. That is, our government is bearing the burden of more than Rs 3200 for one bag of urea. Similarly, on a 50 kg bag of DAP, the previous governments had to bear Rs 500. Despite the spurt in the prices of DAP in the international market, our government has continuously attempted to minimize the burden on the farmers. Now our government is bearing 2500 rupees on a 50 kg bag of DAP. That is, within 12 months, the central government has taken 5 times the load of every bag of DAP. Last year, the central government gave a subsidy of Rs 1 lakh 60 thousand crore in fertilizers so that the farmers of India do not face any problem. This assistance to the farmers is going to be more than Rs 2 lakh crore this year.

Friends,

Whatever is necessary in the interest of the farmer of the country, we will do that and will continue to empower the country's farmers. But we should think -can we leave our farmers at the mercy of foreign countries in the 21st century? Why should the lakhs of crores of rupees that the central government is spending every year go abroad? Shouldn't this be of use to the farmers of India? Shouldn't we be looking for a permanent solution to reduce the rising input cost of farmers due to expensive fertilizers?

Friends,

These are the questions that were before every government in the past. It is not that only I had to face all these issues alone. But earlier, only temporary and immediate solutions were provided. Limited efforts were made to prevent those situations from cropping up in the future. In the last 8 years, we have not only taken immediate measures but also found permanent solutions to the problems. Health infrastructure is being focused upon so that situations like corona pandemic do not arise in the future. In order to minimize the problem of edible oil, work is underway on Mission Oil Palm. To reduce foreign dependence on crude oil, efforts are being made on a large scale today on biofuels, green hydrogen and other measures. Massive investment in nanotechnology is also a result of this approach. Similarly, the campaign which is going on in the country to encourage farmers towards natural farming, is also a part of the permanent solution. And I especially congratulate the farmers of Gujarat. The farmer of Gujarat is progressive. Even if he is a small farmer, he has the courage. And I have this information that the small farmer of Gujarat has also started moving towards natural farming. Lakhs of farmers in Gujarat have started with natural farming. I heartily congratulate all the farmers and salute them for this initiative.

Friends,

'Cooperative' is the solution to many of the challenges of India in terms of self-reliance. And it is a great model of self-reliance. We have experienced this with great success in Gujarat; and all of you, my friends, are part of this success. All the stalwarts associated with the cooperative sector of Gujarat are present here. I was observing everyone's face. They are all my old friends who are carrying forward the development journey of Gujarat in the cooperative sector today. Such veterans are sitting in front of me! It is a great pleasure to see the efforts with which you are taking this work forward and carrying the co-operative spirit forward.

Friends,

Gujarat has also been fortunate because we got the leadership of Pujya Bapu and Sardar Saheb here. Sardar Saheb did the work of implementing the path of 'self-reliance through cooperatives' shown by revered Bapu. And as Amit bhai mentioned, when it comes to cooperatives, it is very natural to remember Venkatbhai Mehta. Even today the Government of India runs a huge institute after him. But that too was gradually forgotten. This time we have started the work of making it more powerful with a provision of Rs 25 crores in the budget. Moreover, here we have a society for housing, which is a cooperative society. It was the first experiment of the concept here. Pritam Nagar in Paldi is an example of that. It is a living example of the country's first cooperative housing scheme.

Friends,

Amul has made a mark in the cooperative sector. A brand like Amul has introduced the power of cooperative movement of Gujarat to the whole world and has created an identity. Gujarat has the success stories of cooperative movement in the dairy, sugar and banking sectors. In the last few years, the scope of cooperatives has increased in other sectors including fruits and vegetables.

Brothers and Sisters,

Among the successful experiments of cooperatives, a big model is in front of us to strengthen the rural economy of the country. The example of the cooperative model of the dairy sector is before us. Today India is the largest milk producer in the world in which Gujarat has a major share. In the past years, the dairy sector has been growing rapidly and is also contributing more to the rural economy. Today India produces milk worth about 8 lakh crore rupees in a year. And this business is handled mostly by our mothers and sisters. While on the other hand, the combined market of wheat and paddy is less than milk production. That is, if milk is worth 8 lakh crores, the total production of wheat and paddy is less than that. You see, the power our country has created in milk production. Similarly, if we look at the entire sector of animal husbandry, it is worth more than Rs 9.5 lakh crore. This is a great support for the small farmers and landless labourers of India.

Friends,

The reason why the villages in Gujarat have seen more prosperity in the last decades is due to the cooperatives associated with the dairy sector. And you will be surprised to know this... If we remind you of something, some may feel that we are criticizing someone. But we are not criticizing. Sometimes a few things need to be reminded to understand the things that used to happen earlier. Provisions were made to halt dairy production in Kutch, Saurashtra of Gujarat. That is, in a way it was put under illegal activities. When I was here, we tried to reason that if Amul is growing, then the dairy industry of Kutch and Amreli too can grow. Why should we restrict it? And today in Gujarat the dairy sector has stood with great strength in all four directions. In Gujarat also, milk based industries were widely spread because the restrictions on the part of the government were minimal in this. The government tried to escape as much as it could and gave full freedom to the cooperative sectors to flourish. The government plays the role of just a facilitator here, the rest of the work is being done either by all our colleagues dedicated to our cooperative sector like you, or by our farmer brothers and sisters. Both the milk producer and the private and cooperative sectors engaged in the business of milk are interlinked and have created an excellent supply and value chain.

Friends,

The biggest thing is that most of us in the dairy sector are small farmers, and like I said before, our mothers and sisters handle this work. Around 70 lakh sisters and 50 lakh families in Gujarat are a part of this movement today. Today our mothers and sisters are running more than 5500 milk cooperative societies in Gujarat. Our sisters from Gujarat have also played a crucial role in building an international brand like Amul. In a way, cooperatives have given new dimensions to women entrepreneurship in Gujarat. We all have heard of Lijjat Papad. It was started by the poor mothers and sisters of the tribal area. Now it has become a multinational brand. Just like the Indians, Lijjat Papad too has reached every part of the world. And I feel so proud that Lijjat Papad has been expanding over the years. It has grown so much, yet it did not get its due recognition. Last time we gave the Padma Shri award to one of the founders of Lijjat Papad. Now her age is above 90. She is originally a Gujarati, but lives in Mumbai. But that elderly lady came and showered her blessings. That is, just like the spirit of our cooperative and the skills of our mothers and sisters have become a brand of Amul, similarly Lijjat has also turned into a brand. We can clearly see the management skills of our sisters and daughters in the cooperatives.

Friends,

We are following the mantra of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas'. This mantra itself is the soul of the cooperative. This mantra is within the boundaries of the cooperative. Therefore, we are continuously moving forward to link the spirit of co-operatives with the spirit of the 'Azadi Ka AmritKaal'. With this objective, a separate Ministry for cooperatives was formed at the centre. And the effort is to encourage cooperative based economic models in the country. For this, several new steps are being taken one after the other. We are trying to make cooperative societies, institutions competitive in the market, by providing them a level playing field with other market players. In the last few years, we have provided assistance to the cooperative societies by reducing the taxes. Amit bhai has mentioned it in a few words but we have taken several initiatives. He talked about the surcharge. Earlier there were issues regarding this. While making reforms, we have given the cooperatives equal status to that of the Farmer Producer Organizations. This will go a long way in helping the cooperatives to grow.

Friends

Moreover, a huge initiative is also underway to connect cooperative societies, cooperative banks with modern digital technology. A commendable work is going to start in this direction in Gujarat. Also, when I was the Chief Minister, income tax was imposed on the cooperative sector as mentioned by Amit Bhai. So, I used to write letters to the central Government, and the people handling this department in the centre too were associated with the cooperative movement. But they did not pay any heed to Gujarat or to the people of the cooperative sector around the country. But we went and solved that problem too.

Friends,

I am told that the District Co-operative Banks have issued Rupay Kisan cards to about 8 lakh farmers. Like other banks, the facilities of online banking are also available to the farmers today. Like Amit bhai mentioned, when all of the country's 63,000 Primary Agricultural Credit Society (PACS) will be computerized, the entire image of our cooperatives will transform completely. This will greatly benefit our farmers as most of the members of these societies are farmers. There is one more piece of good news. I came to know that now several people from the cooperative sector are using the GeM portal of the Government of India for buying. This has brought transparency; the process has speeded up and the need is being fulfilled in less cost. The people of the cooperative sector have accepted the government's GeM portal. Therefore, I sincerely thank the people of the cooperative sector.

Friends,

The biggest strength of a co-operative is trust, cooperation and the ability to increase the capacity of the organization with the help of everyone. This is the guarantee of India's success in the 'Azadi Ka AmritKaal'. We are working on empowering those who were considered small and were underestimated in the AmritKaal'. Small farmers are being empowered in every way today. Similarly, small scale industries - MSMEs are being made a strong part of India's self-reliant supply chain. A digital technology platform, ONDC- Open Network for Digital Commerce, is also being made available to our small shopkeepers and traders. This will encourage healthy competition in the digital space, giving equal opportunity to the small traders of the country. This will strengthen the potential of India's e-commerce market, which will definitely benefit the small traders of Gujarat.

Friends,

Gujarat has been a state associated with the tradition of trade and business. The test for a good businessman is how well he handles the business even in difficult situations. The government faces a similar test as to how it can find new ways to find solutions even in the midst of challenges. All these provisions and all the reforms we are witnessing from the past few years are our attempt to turn a crisis into an opportunity. I am sure that our spirit of co-operation will help us in fulfilling our resolutions. And just now Bhupendra Bhai has mentioned really good lines in his speech that non-cooperation was a weapon for gaining independence before. 'Cooperative' is a weapon to achieve prosperity after independence. This journey from non-cooperation to cooperatives is our path to attain the heights of prosperity and to fulfil the mantra of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’. Let us walk on this path with confidence. We should also connect the people of the country with this auspicious work. The expansion of the cooperative movement of Gujarat in more areas of India will work for the betterment of the people of that region. I am very grateful to the Gujarat government that today I got the opportunity to meet the stalwarts of the cooperative sector because when I was in Gujarat, they always used to come with their grievances. But today they came with their report cards. "So we have reached here in such a short time; we have taken our society to this position; we have brought our organization here. Earlier our turn-over was this much, now our turn-over has become this much". When the people of small societies meet, with great pride they say – "we all work on computers, sir; we have started going online here". The change that is seen in the cooperative sector of Gujarat is something to be proud of. Today I bow to your hard work, salute this great tradition. And as we are celebrating 75 years of independence, the seeds which were sown earlier have turned into a banyan tree today in the creative dominance of the public life of Gujarat and is growing in the form of economy as well as cooperative dominance. With this delight and joy, I would like to end my speech by thanking you from the bottom of my heart and saluting everyone.

Say aloud with me:

Bharat Mata Ki – Jai,

Bharat Mata Ki - Jai,

Bharat Mata Ki – Jai,

Thank you.

 

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Social Media Corner 19th August 2022
August 19, 2022
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UPI is expanding globally. Citizens travelling to the UK will enjoy hassle-free digital transactions.

India appreciates the government’s policies and reforms toward building stronger infrastructure and better economic development.