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Processing Industry related to value addition to agri products is our priority: PM
Private Investment in Agriculture will help farmers: PM

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi flagged off the 100th Kisan Rail from Sangola in Maharashtra to Shalimar in West Bengal today via video conferencing. Union Ministers, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar and Shri Piyush Goyal were also present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister termed the Kisan Rail Service as a major step towards increasing the income of the farmers of the country. He expressed happiness that even during the Corona pandemic, 100 Kisan Rails were launched in the last 4 months. He said this service will bring a major change in the economy related to farming and will also increase the strength of the country's cold supply chain. He added no minimum quantity has been fixed to transport through Kisan Rail so that, even the smallest produce will be able to reach the big market properly at a low price.

The Prime Minister said the Kisan Rail project not only shows the commitment of the Government to serve the farmers but also serves as a proof of how fast our farmers are ready for new possibilities. He said farmers can now sell their crops in other states as well, in which farmers' rail (Kisan Rail) and agriculture flights (Krishi Udaan) have a big role. He said that Kisan Rail is a mobile cold storage to move perishable things like fruits, vegetables, milk, fish, etc., with complete security. “India always had a large railway network, even before independence. Cold storage technology was also available. Only now this strength is being harnessed properly through Kisan Rail” the Prime Minister added.

The Prime Minister said a facility like Kisan Rail has given millions of small farmers of West Bengal a huge facility. This facility is available to the farmer as well as the local small businessman. He said experts in the field of agriculture and experiences from other countries and new technology are being incorporated into Indian agriculture.

Perishable rail cargo centres are being constructed in the vicinity of railway stations where farmers can store their produce. The effort is to supply as much fruits and vegetables as possible to the household. Extra produce should reach the entrepreneurs engaged in production of juice, pickle, sauce, chips etc., the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister remarked that the Government’s priority is focussed on storage-linked infrastructure and processing industries associated with value addition in farming products. He said about 6500 such projects have been approved under Mega Food Parks, Cold Chain Infrastructure and Agro Processing Cluster, under the PM Krishi Sampada Yojana. Rs 10000 crore have been sanctioned for micro food processing industries under AatmaNirbhar Abhiyan package.

Shri Modi said that it is the participation and support of the rural people, farmers and youth that makes the government’s efforts successful. Farmer Producer Organizations(FPO’s) and cooperative groups like women Self Help Groups get priority in agri-business and agri-infrastructure. Recent reforms will lead to expansion of agri business and these groups will be the biggest beneficiaries. Private investment in agriculture will support the government's effort to help these groups. “We will keep on marching on the path of strengthening Indian agriculture and Kisan with full dedication” The Prime Minister added.

 

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There is no substitute to testing, tracking and treatment: PM
All necessary measures must be taken to ramp up the availability of hospital beds for Covid patients: PM
Local administrations need to be proactive and sensitive to people’s concerns: PM
PM reviewed the status of supply of Remdesivir and other medicines
Installation of approved medical oxygen plants should be accelerated: PM
Utilize the entire national capacity to ramp up vaccine production: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting to review the status of preparedness to handle the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Various aspects relating to medicines, oxygen, ventilators and vaccination were discussed.

The Prime Minister said that together India had defeated Covid last year & India can do it again, with the same principles but faster speed and coordination.

The PM stressed that there is no substitute to testing, tracking and treatment. Early testing and proper tracking remains key to reduce mortality. He also said that local administrations need to be proactive and sensitive to people’s concerns.

The Prime Minister directed that close coordination with States must be ensured in handling the pandemic. He said that all necessary measures must be taken to ramp up the availability of hospital beds for Covid patients. The Prime Minister also directed that additional supply of beds through temporary hospitals and isolation centres should be ensured.

PM spoke about the need to utilize the full potential of India’s pharmaceutical industry to meet the rising demand of various medicines. He reviewed the status of supply of Remdesivir and other medicines. The Prime Minister was briefed on actions taken to address the issue of availability of Remdesivir. Through the efforts of the Government, capacity and production augmentation for manufacturing of Remdesivir has been ramped up to provide around 74.10 lakh vials/month in May while the normal production output in January-February being just 27-29 lakh vials/month. Supplies have also increased from 67,900 vials on 11th April going up to over 2,06,000 vials on 15th April 2021 which are being particularly focused on states with high caseload and high demand. He took note of the ramped up production capacity, and directed that issues relating to real-time supply chain management to States must be resolved urgently in coordination with the States. The Prime Minister directed that use of Remdesivir and other medicines must be in accordance with approved medical guidelines, and that their misuse and black marketing must be strictly curbed.

On the issue of supply of medical oxygen, the Prime Minister directed that the installation of approved medical oxygen plants should be sped up. 162 PSA Oxygen plants are being installed in 32 States/UTs from PM CARES. The officers informed that 1 lakh cylinders are being procured & they will be supplied to states soon. The officers briefed the PM that they are in constant supply with 12 high burden states in assessing the current and future requirement of medical oxygen. A supply mapping plan for 12 high burden states till 30th April has also been undertaken. The Prime Minister also said that supply of oxygen required for production of medicines and equipment necessary to handle the pandemic should also be ensured.

The Prime Minister also reviewed the status of availability & supply of ventilators. The Prime Minister noted that a real time monitoring system has been created, and directed that concerned State governments should be sensitized to use the system proactively.

On the issue of vaccination, the Prime Minister directed all officials to make efforts to utilize the entire national capacity, in public as well as private sector, to ramp up vaccine production.

He was joined by Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to PM, Union Home Secretary, Union Health Secretary, Pharma Secretary. Dr V K Paul, Niti Aayog was also present.