New Delhi: The prime minister, Narendra Modi, raised the farmers issue at the FICCI’s 93rd Annual General Meeting and Annual Convention Saturday and asserted that the government is commited to the welfare of farmers with Niti and Niyat.

The prime minister inaugurated the FICCI AGM and annual convention through video conferencing.

He dwelled on the steps to help the farmers and the agri-sector at length. Modi said, “through policy and intention (nitiaurniyat), the government is committed to the welfare of the farmers. Noting the increasing vibrancy of the agri-sector, Modi talked of new alternative available to the farmers to sell their produce outside the mandis, modernization of mandis and option of selling produce on electronic platform. All this is directed to make the farmer prosperous as prosperous farmer means prosperous nation, he said.

Modi pointed out that private sector investment in agriculture is not up to the mark. He said  in the fields of supply chain, cold storage and areas like fertilizers etc, both interest and investment of the private sector is needed. There is a huge scope in rural agro-based industries and a friendly policy regime is in place for that, Modi added.

Making a strong pitch for the positive change happening in the rural, semi-rural and tier-2 and tier-3 cities, the prime minister invited the senior business and industry leaders to take benefit of the opportunities in such areas. He informed that number of the Internet users in the rural areas has surpassed the cities and more than half of India’s start-ups are in tier-2 and tier-3  cities.

Mention inc recently approved PM-WANI for public Wi-Fi hotspots, he said that entrepreneurs should become partners in the rural connectivity efforts. “It is certain that in 21st century, India’s growth will be driven by villages and the small cities and entrepreneurs  like you should not lose out on   the opportunity to invest in the villages and small cities. Your investment will open new doors for our brothers and sisters in the rural areas and the agriculture sector” said the prime minister.

Modi complimented the Indian private sector for not only meeting the domestic needs but also for its capability to establish strong brand India globally. Commitment of every citizen towards Aatmnirbhar Bharat is an example of the country’s faith in its private sector, he said. 

 The prime minister said that in life as well as governance, a confident person never hesitates in giving space to others. A strong government, backed by massive mandate exudes that confidence and dedication. A decisive government always strives to remove obstacles for others and always tries to contribute towards the society and the nation. Such a government doesn’t want to hog the control and initiative. He recalled the time when government was in all the sectors and described the ruin brought about this approach on the economy. 

A visionary and decisive government, on the other hand, encourages all the stakeholders to realize their potential. Modi pointed out that in the last six years, the government is encouraging stakeholders in all sector. This is reflected in the all-round reforms in sectors ranging from manufacturing to MSME; agriculture to infrastructure; from tech industry to taxation and from real estate to regulatory easing, he added.

The prime minister told the gathering that our industry needs bridges not walls. By removing the walls separating various sectors of the economy there will be new opportunities for everyone, especially the farmers who will get new options. Investment in technology, cold storage and the agri-sector will benefit farmers. The prime minister called for investing energy in finding ways to  make  agriculture, service, manufacturing and social sectors complement each other.

Organization like FICCI can be both bridge and inspiration in this endeavour. We should work with a goal to strengthen the local value and supply chain and how to expand India’s role in global supply chain. “India has market, manpower and also the capability to work in mission mode”, Modi said.