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13.5 crore people have come out of the poverty line in recent times says Union Minister Giriraj Singh

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The government has been taking slew of measures from increasing MSP on food grains to providing financial assistance to farmers to empower the villages as Giriraj Singh, Union Minister of Rural Development shed light on how rural parts of the country are getting the facility of cities without abandoning its rural characteristic.

The Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi used to say that the soul of India resides in the village. What steps have been taken to empower the rural sector?

Rural India still has more than 80 crore population. According to the 2011 census, there are 19.5 crore households. Most of them are farmers and laborers. We are committed to increasing the MSP for the farmers. Earlier there was only MSP for paddy and wheat. Today pulses and oilseeds also have MSP. The MSP has increased by about 70%. Not only this, the farmer does not have to bother whether the urea he is sprinkling today is Rs.7 per kg or expensive because the government is making it available cheaply. About two and a half lakh crore rupees are being given as subsidies to the farmers. In the form of Kisan Samman Nidhi, farmers are being given assistance of Rs 6 thousand every year for fertilizers and seeds. Earlier, for fertilizers and seeds, they used to borrow money from moneylenders or any other person and there was a burden of repaying them. The Prime Minister has worked in the interest of the farmers. He encourages natural farming and the setting up of nano urea factories.

What kind of efforts have been made by the Center to strengthen the infrastructure in the villages?

I thank the late former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who worked to connect the villages of India by bringing the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. Then Narendra Modi ji as the Prime Minister has taken it forward. When our government came in 2014, there were about 4 lakh km of roads, but now under this scheme, the figure has reached about 7.5 lakh km. We are making an effort in the whole country to have the soul of a village and a system of a city. In order to strengthen connectivity, we are now trying to find out how to connect rural roads with national and state highways. Under MGNREGA too, wealth creation in villages has doubled as compared to earlier. When we came to the government, the budget for MGNREGA was Rs 35 thousand crores.. If we look at
the figures, there was a budget of Rs 62 thousand crore in 2019-20, but Rs 1.10 lakh crore was spent. In 2020-21, Rs 98 thousand crore was spent on a budget of Rs 72 thousand crore. It was Rs 90 thousand crores in 2022- 23. Actually, this is not only budget based. Transparency is the biggest thing under the leadership of Modi Ji. Today almost 100 percent of MGNREGA accounts are linked to the bank. Nearly 97% of beneficiaries have been given money by linking Aadhaar. Women’s participation is around 56%. Today Amrit Sarovar has also been linked with MGNREGA. Special campaigns are going on for water conservation. More Amrit Sarovars have been built so far than the target. Panchayats are being given 4 times more money than before. Panchayats are being made carbon neutral. Work is being done in the direction of Green Panchayat so that the water of the village goes to the village and the water of the fields goes to the fields.

In order to meet the basic needs of the village, how have the issues pending for decades been resolved?

Today, with the vision and cooperation of Prime Minister Modi, every household is being given toilets and water. We are engaged in making education-rich panchayats, carbon-neutral panchayats, and employment-rich panchayats. About 10 crore women from every family in rural areas are being linked to self-help groups. Women are not only associated with this for livelihood but have also become an example. The property is being digitized under SVAMITVA Yojana. The registry is being digitized. Now it is our endeavor to link the digitization of property with the courts so that the disposal of civil cases is quick. The role of panchayats is important in disaster management. For this, a letter has been written to the Chief Ministers of the states. Similarly, the world’s benchmark regarding NPA is 2 percent, and it is 1.8 percent in self-help groups. Whereas in earlier times it was up to 9 percent. Banking sector reforms and e-governance initiatives have made villages prosperous.

Also Read:- Education to play a key role in making India a $5 trillion economy by 2025 says Union Minister Pradhan

Recently, in a report of NITI Aayog, it has been revealed that in the last few years, due to the efforts of the Central Government, more than 13 crore population has come out of the poverty line, in which the fastest reduction in poverty has been seen in rural areas?

In fact, 13.5 crore people have come out of the poverty line, so people ask how it happened. Housing – In 29 years, Indira Awas has built only three crore houses and now in less than nine years, three crore houses have been built under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Rural. Those who do not see poverty, talk to those who were sleeping under the roof. Today, 2 lakh 15 thousand crore rupees have been spent in the village under MGNREGA in 9 years. Ujjwala provided cooking gas connections, and Jan Dhan’s account linked all the families of the village to the bank. Look at Ayushman Bharat that if someone fell ill in the house of a poor person, he had to sell his jewelry or farm, otherwise he would be suffering. Now for the first time insurance of 5 lakhs was given. Modi ji has taken all measures to bring changes in the lives of the poor.

How is the principle of Antyodaya of Pt Deendayal Upadhyay being realized?

Antyodaya is a poor welfare scheme. Today, 80 crore people are being given food grains in the country. People who do not face hunger cannot experience it. See how the village became the biggest support during the Covid period itself. The Prime Minister himself said that the strength shown by the villages during the Covid period helped in winning the war against Corona. If the vaccine was available for 1200 or 12 thousand, then capable people would have taken it. Would the poor be able to take it? Is there a record to date that the vaccine has reached before 22-25 years? There is a saying – the wearer knows where the shoe pinches. Some people go to Kalavati’s house and understand poverty. No one can plan for poverty alleviation by learning from Kalavati’s house. Prime Minister Modi himself has seen poverty and lived in poverty. That’s why only one who has seen and lived in poverty will make the right plan for the poor.

How do you see the road ahead for a strong rural India?

See, the Prime Minister has always been dedicated to the welfare of the poor and the villages. There is an experience of life in his every policy and plan, so he associates himself with the poor. He believes that India will develop only when the villages of India develop. In this direction, incomparable efforts have been implemented in the last 9 years. Now in the next five years, we have to walk on the path of changing the picture of rural India, where no house will be found without a roof. Self-employment has got a new dimension and the definition of employment has changed at the village level. The village has benefited from the reach of technology and whether it is internet consumption or benefits of other schemes, the village is looking ahead. So I can say that we are moving forward with a changing picture and a changing path.

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